Britain expresses concern over Hong Kong speech rights

Britain has expressed concern over freedom of speech in its former colony Hong Kong after authorities refused to renew the work visa of a senior editor of the Financial Times.

A statement dated Friday said Britain has asked for an explanation as to why Victor Mallet’s visa renewal application was rejected.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement said: “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and its press freedoms are central to its way of life, and must be fully respected.”

Mallet is a vice president of Hong Kong’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club, which recently drew criticism from the authorities for hosting a talk by the leader of a now-banned pro-Hong Kong independence party.

Hong Kong was promised semi-autonomy for 50 years as part of its 1997 handover from British rule.

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