Apple Daily: Statement by Professors in Hong Kong Calls Article 23 a "Tremendously Fearful" Threat to Freedom of Press (Photo)
(Clearwidsom.net) According to Apple Daily's report on December 6, 2002, full-time professors from the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong published a joint statement pointing out that the proposed Article 23 is a "tremendously fearful" threat to freedom of the press and requests the government to list the details of the law's articles for the public to discuss, and furthermore, requests the government to extend the consultation period for three months.
The 13 full-time professors criticized the consultation document, pointing out that the proposed legislation disregards the necessity for journalists to have the right to keep their news sources secret, and that it brushes aside the disparity in freedom of the press between the Mainland and Hong Kong, which blurs the "one country, two systems" policy. Furthermore, the document violates the principles of the World Human Rights Convention regarding freedoms of press and speech.
The professors pointed out that journalists should not be prosecuted for reporting facts or opinions, or for being in charge of instigating publications. Instead, as long as it is based on facts and sincere beliefs, criticism of the central government should not be illegal. When journalists face accusations, they should be able to defend themselves in the public's best interest
Apple Daily is a prominent Hong Kong-based Chinese-language newspaper.