October 4, 2017 - Updated on October 14, 2017

Threats against Hong Kong Free Press

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in Hong Kong to investigate the threats that have been made against the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), an independent, non-profit news website based in the former British colony.

HKFP co-founder and editor-in-chief Tom Grundy, his family and HKFP staff members recently received letters containing threats. One was sent to the address of Grundy’s family in the United Kingdom, which is “not easy to find,” Grundy said.

"We have no tolerance for threats, nor will we allow them to affect our work," Grundy stressed.

“These threats against journalists and their families are unacceptable and require a response,” said Cédric Alviani, the head of RSF’s East Asia bureau. “We call on the authorities in Hong Kong to identify those responsible for this criminal behaviour and to punish them without delay.”

HKFP was created “as a direct response to the press freedom issues facing the city,” its founders say. It was launched in the summer of 2015 after a crowdfunding campaign gathered four times the anticipated amount, indicating a strong level of public interest amid Beijing’s growing meddling in the local media.

After operating for two years, HKFP claims to have published 9,500 stories and to have 1 million pageviews a month.

Hong Kong has plunged in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index in the past two decades, and is now ranked 73rd out of 180 countries. It was ranked 18th in 2002, the year the Index was created.