Predator

Carrie LAM

13 May 1957



Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China since 2017 

 Chairperson of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security since 2020

Predator since 2019



Hong Kong, 80th/180 in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index



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Dear [Name of Candidate],

I am writing to ask you what you plan to do to defend the First Amendment, freedom of the press, and the fundamental rights of journalists to practice their profession freely in what has become an increasingly hostile environment for information and news providers.

The United States, which enshrines press freedom in the First Amendment of its Constitution, is currently witnessing a drastic decline in media freedom. On June 28, one of the most horrific attacks on press freedom in the United States occurred when five employees, including four reporters, were killed at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. According to the US Press Freedom Tracker, which comprehensively documents press freedom violations in the US committed by national, state, and local authorities as well as private individuals, 33 journalists were arrested, 43 were physically attacked, and 15 seizures of journalists’ equipment occurred in 2017. In one of these incidents, Rep. Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a Guardian journalist the night before his state’s election. While covering the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, journalists were impersonated on social media, impeding their ability to accurately investigate the facts and disseminate information which could be vital to preventing a similar tragedy. This hostility towards the press not only risks compromising the American public’s right to be informed through journalists’ reporting, but can also degrade the public’s trust in the media itself.

This is not a partisan issue; it is a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics. Journalism is at the crux of our democracy, and communities everywhere rely on journalists to provide them with information that is essential to their daily decision-making processes. It was local investigative journalist Curt Guyette who broke the story about Flint, Michigan’s lack of access to clean water in 2014, prompting years of class-action lawsuits, protests, and subsequent federal assistance to the city in order to try to resolve the crisis. Reporters Megan Twohey, Jodi Kantor, and Ronan Farrow publicized sexual assault allegations against influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017, leading to the ubiquitous and powerful #MeToo movement which brought decades of sexual abuse and harassment across multiple industries to light.

Yet freedom of the press in the US is currently in dire need of congressional support. It is our civic duty as one of the world’s leading democracies to uphold principles that support and protect the rights of journalists so that they may hold those in power accountable and ensure an informed and engaged community.

If you are elected, what do you plan to do to protect this utterly essential component of our democracy? What are your plans to protect the public’s right to be informed through a free and independent press?

Sincerely,
[Your name]
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Hello, my name is _______ and I am from [city, state].

I’m calling to let you know that [candidate/representative]'s stance on freedom of the press is extremely important in my decision to vote. I feel that this is not a partisan issue, but a fundamental right that impacts every American no matter their politics.

I have become increasingly concerned with the growing climate of hostility for journalists in this country, and I would like for [candidate/representative] to publicly address what they will do to defend press freedom if [he/she] is elected.

Thank you.
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Freedom of the press is suffering in the US. @[yourcandidate] if you are elected to serve in Congress, what are your plans to protect journalists and our right to be informed? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

Democracy depends on a free and independent press and its ability to hold those in power accountable. [@yourcandidate] will you take measures to protect journalism and the First Amendment? Will you #DefendPressFreedom?

In June, four reporters were murdered in an appalling targeted attack on the Capital Gazette and freedom of the press. [@yourcandidate] what will you do to address the growing threat to journalists in this country? #DefendPressFreedom

Press freedom is in steady decline in the US. I want my representative to defend the work of journalists as well as my right to be informed. [@yourcandidate] if you are elected what will you do to protect a free press? #DefendPressFreedom
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Journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. And yet in the US, attacks on journalists are becoming more common, undermining the media's role and creating opportunities for government overreach, the erosion of press freedom, and impeding our right to be informed. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join me at DefendPressFreedom.com

A free press is essential to our democracy. Communities everywhere rely on journalists to report on our government’s actions and hold public figures accountable, providing us with the information we need to make decisions every day. And yet physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists in the US are increasing at an astonishing rate. I’m contacting my candidates and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. You should too. Read more at DefendPressFreedom.com

Press freedom is declining in the US at an alarming rate. Physical, verbal, and online attacks against journalists have increased drastically in the last two years. As the US midterm elections approach, we must remind our congressional candidates that journalists play a crucial role in our democracy by keeping us informed and holding those in power accountable. I’m contacting my representatives and encouraging them to defend press freedom during their midterm election campaign. Join in and help me spread the word at DefendPressFreedom.com

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    PREDATORY METHOD: Stick, and draconian legislation





When Carrie Lam was appointed as Chief Executive of Hong Kong in 2017, she quickly extended governmental press accreditation to online media outlets, giving the impression that she might help to improve press freedom. But Lam soon showed her true colours as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s puppet and has since consistently tried to defend his indefensible censorship policies under the name of “patriotism.”

 

The draft amendment she introduced in 2019, allowing extradition to Mainland China, including the extradition of journalists of whom Beijing disapproved, triggered mass protests. During those protests, journalists were subjected to physical violence by the police, violence that Lam kept refusing to recognise. She went on to praise the National Security Law that Beijing imposed in June 2020 so that it could intervene directly in Hong Kong in order to arbitrarily punish what it regarded as “terrorism”, “secession”, “subversion”, and “foreign interference.” Punishable by life imprisonment or even the death penalty, these charges opened the way to arbitrary arrests of journalists.



    FAVOURITE TARGETS: Public broadcasters, independent media outlets



    Carrie Lam has relentlessly targeted symbols of press freedom in Hong Kong. By freezing the financial assets of Apple Daily, one of the few mainstream Chinese-language media outlets still openly critical of Beijing, she forced the newspaper to shut down in June 2021. Lam also orchestrated the judicial harassment of Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, a 2020 RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate, and former legislator and former journalist Claudia Mo, who were arrested in 2021 and charged under the National Security Law. Lastly, Lam launched a full-blown intimidation campaign against public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), appointed a new director of broadcasting tasked with setting up an internal censorship system, and took editorial interference to the next level by imposing her own daily talk show, which was broadcast for a month from 28 April 2021.


    OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: A particular vision of freedom and human rights


    "It's not a problem to criticise the Hong Kong government, but if there is an intent to organise activities to incite the subversion of the government then that is, of course, a different thing [...] Media friends should have the ability to distinguish between them." (Carrie Lam during a press conference on press freedom and the police raid on Apple Daily headquarters on 22 June 2021).