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Hong Kong. Several media banned from attending the swearing-in of the new director general

Several independent Hong Kong media and newspapers have been banned from attending the inauguration of new leader John Lee. They will also not be able to cover any other July 1 events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the transfer, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported. The decision was made by the authorities due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and for security reasons.

HKFP revealed that Japan’s Nikkei, Asahi Shimbun and Kyodo News were not invited. Taiwan’s CTV, US’s Getty Images, Hong Kong’s InMedia, PSHK, TMHK and HKFP were not invited. Apart from these, the European Photo Press Agency has not received an invitation.

Lee will take office on July 1. The day coincides with the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer from British to Chinese rule and halfway through the “One Country, Two Systems” political model.

If reports are to be believed, Chinese President Xi Jinping may attend the festivities. Media reported that hotels around the Wan Chai Exhibition Center are apparently booked by the government. In July 2017, Xi attended the swearing-in of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam as part of a three-day trip.

Lee was chosen as the next leader in early May. The 64-year-old is a former security chief and he oversaw the crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement. He was the only candidate in the race and obtained 99% of the votes.

HKFP said the Information Services Department (ISD) has invited some broadcasters to nominate 20 journalists to attend. Meanwhile, other media were able to send ten journalists.

A spokesperson told HKFP, “The government has adopted appropriate media arrangements after considering the latest epidemic situation, security requirements and venue constraints, etc.” “These factors have an impact on the number of media organizations invited to apply for accreditation,” they added.

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Post expires at 8:43pm on Monday June 27th, 2022