clearn.png
Wednesday June 23rd, 2021 1:35AM

Hong Kong to censor films 'endangering national security'

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong censors now have the power to ban films that endanger national security, prompting concerns that freedom of expression is being further curtailed in a city once known for its vibrant arts and film scene.

Authorities are cracking down on criticism of Chinese Communist Party rule, arresting many pro-democracy activists in the city and implementing a sweeping national security law last year that criminalizes actions such as the calls for independence made during months of anti-government protests in 2019.

The Hong Kong government announced Friday that it has amended the guidelines for censors in the city’s Film Censorship Ordinance to include vigilance against any “portrayal, depiction or treatment of any act or activity which may amount to an offense endangering national security.”

Censors have the power to ban films from exhibition to “prevent or suppress any act or activity endangering national security,” it said in a statement.

“The film censorship regulatory framework is built on the premise of a balance between protection of individual rights and freedoms on the one hand, and the protection of legitimate societal interests on the other,” the government said.

The amended ordinance takes Hong Kong a step closer to the censorship of films on the Chinese mainland, which are closely vetted for themes and scenes critical of the Communist Party's leadership or that do not align with values that the government seeks to espouse.

On Friday, organizers of the 15th Fresh Wave International Short Film Festival canceled the screening of “Far From Home,” a short about political divisions in Hong Kong following the 2019 anti-government protests, after it did not receive approval from censors.

“This film censorship system shows how freedom of expression is disappearing from Hong Kong," said Anders Hammer, director of “Do Not Split,” an Oscar-nominated documentary about the 2019 protests. "In 2021 we have seen how the situation is deteriorating further where activists and pro-democracy politicians are put in prison, charged under the new draconian national security law,” he said.

“And unfortunately, it looks like the local government and Beijing only want to continue with this dissolvement of basic democratic rights in Hong Kong,” he said.

In March, organizers canceled the screening of the documentary “Inside the Red Brick Wall” which portrays clashes between pro-democracy protesters and police at a local university, following an editorial in a pro-Beijing newspaper that said the movie spreads messages of subversion and may breach the national security law.

Censors in May also issued warnings to a hospital workers’ union over the screening of two films related to the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, stating that it had not sought approval and that one of the films had not been rated.

Earlier this month, Hong Kong authorities banned for a second year the annual candlelight vigil held in remembrance of victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Authorities have also ramped up efforts to overhaul the school system to instill “patriotism” in students.

___

Associated Press journalist Juwon Park in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Movies News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Russia player out of Euro 2020 with virus
Russia winger Andrey Mostovoy has become the first player to be cut from a team at this year’s European Championship because of the coronavirus
5:26AM ( 47 minutes ago )
World shares mostly higher after US inflation up 5% in May
Shares are mostly higher in Europe and Asia after the S&P 500 index notched another record high despite a surge in U.S. consumer prices in May
4:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
For Cornwall, G7 summit brings mix of disruption and hope
Towering steel fences and masses of police have transformed the picturesque Cornish seaside as leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies descend on a tiny village near St. Ives in Cornwall for their summit
3:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Lucky number: Biden is 13th US president set to meet queen
Joe Biden will become the 13th American president to meet Queen Elizabeth II
12:48AM ( 5 hours ago )
Message in a jacket: Jill Biden offers 'love' during UK trip
Jill Biden is sending a message of “love” as she accompanies her husband President Joe Biden overseas
11:56PM ( 6 hours ago )
Korean adoptee films pain of mother-child separations
Bringing her camera to a home for unwed mothers on South Korea’s Jeju island, Sun Hee Engelstoft anticipated an empowering story about young women keeping their babies
9:22PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Curtain rises on the Tribeca Festival, and on New York, too
The 20th Tribeca Festival is aiming to not just rebuild itself after a 2020 edition was largely scuttled by the pandemic, but to help revitalize its hometown
5:20AM ( 1 day ago )
The curtain rises on the Tribeca Festival, and New York, too
The 20th Tribeca Festival is aiming to not just rebuild itself after a 2020 edition was largely scuttled by the pandemic, but to help revitalize its hometown
3:02PM ( 1 day ago )
‘In the Heights’ lifts hopes for a Latino film breakthrough
The hype for “In the Heights” has brought great expectation to the Latino community in the United States, which has been historically underrepresented or stereotyped on the screen
2:14PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Movies News
The Latest: Russia player out of Euro 2020 with virus
Russia winger Andrey Mostovoy has become the first player to be cut from a team at this year’s European Championship because of the coronavirus
5:26AM ( 47 minutes ago )
World shares mostly higher after US inflation up 5% in May
Shares are mostly higher in Europe and Asia after the S&P 500 index notched another record high despite a surge in U.S. consumer prices in May
4:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
For Cornwall, G7 summit brings mix of disruption and hope
Towering steel fences and masses of police have transformed the picturesque Cornish seaside as leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy democracies descend on a tiny village near St. Ives in Cornwall for their summit
3:41AM ( 2 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: What will change under Israel's new government?
If all goes according to plan, Israel will swear in a new government on Sunday, putting an end to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12-year rule and a political crisis that led to four elections in less than two years
3:07AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Euro 2020 set to open, 1 year later than planned
The biggest soccer tournament of the coronavirus-era is about to get started
3:06AM ( 3 hours ago )