Amnesty International will close its Hong Kong offices due to a recently enforced national security law.
The human rights group said the law, imposed by China, makes their functioning “effectively impossible”.
Amnesty has been present in Hong Kong for over 40 years and now runs two offices, one focused on the city and the other on the region.
The local office will close by October 31 and the regional office will be leaving by the end of the year.
Hong Kong’s extensive national security law criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
Critics say it is meant to crush dissent, but China says it is meant to maintain stability.
Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chairman of Amnesty’s international council, said in a statement that a crackdown under the law forced at least 35 groups to disband this year.
“This decision, taken with a heavy heart, was guided by Hong Kong’s National Security Act, which effectively made it impossible for Hong Kong human rights organizations to work freely and without fear of severe reprisals,” he said.
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“The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty created by the National Security Act makes it impossible to know which activities could lead to criminal sanctions.”
Among the groups that disbanded this year were several major trade unions, NGOs and professional groups.
Several other NGOs, including the New School for Democracy, have moved to Taiwan.
- Hong Kong National Security Act
- Amnesty International
- Hong Kong
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