US-funded news service to suspend Cantonese op-eds and programmes over ‘dire situation in Hong Kong’

US-funded news outlet Radio Free Asia (RFA) has announced the suspension of its Cantonese programmes and commentaries, citing concerns about press freedom in Hong Kong and the “red lines” of the national security law.

A memo issued by RFA’s Washington DC headquarters and seen by HKFP said the broadcasts would be suspended from March 1 “until further notice” and an internal review would be conducted. It was addressed to commentators and hosts of the outlet’s Cantonese service.

Radio Free Asia Cantonese service’s commentary page on February 10, 2022. Photo: RFA

“Given the dire situation in Hong Kong, locally based commentators and hosts face increased risks. It has been clear over the past year that the ‘national security red lines’ are everywhere in Hong Kong,” the memo read. “The freedom of speech accorded to commentators and hosts under Hong Kong’s basic law is not protected by Hong Kong and Chinese laws.”

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