Hong Kong effectively blacklists senior British journalist

Ma Jian's books are banned in China

After several hours of questioning, immigration officers denied Victor Mallet entry on a tourist visa, the latest indication of what appears to be Beijing's tightening crackdown on free speech in the semiautonomous Chinese territory.

The government has given no explanation for the original refusal to extend his visa but it is widely believed the decision was linked to Mallet's chairing of a talk by a Hong Kong independence activist at the city's Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC), where he is first vice president.

Hong Kong's immigration authorities have given no explanation for his expulsion and on Friday responded with a statement saying they would "act in accordance with the laws and policies and decide whether the entry will be allowed or refused after careful consideration of the circumstances of each case".

In a statement Friday, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said that in barring Mallet's entry, the government was "severely violating the freedoms of press and speech, and further damaging the reputation and status of Hong Kong as an global city", according to the newspaper South China Morning Post.

The decision shocked many in the city's worldwide community and reignited a debate about the viability of promised freedoms in Asian financial hub.

Chan's political party, Hong Kong National Party, has since been banned.

In later tweets, as the writer boarded a plane bound for Hong Kong, he expressed concerns he might not be allowed through immigration.

The issue hounded Lam during her five-day visit to Japan last week, with Japanese reporters grilling her about her government's denial of a work visa for Mallet.

Ma has Hong Kong residency which entitles him to live and work in the city but he said he entered using his British passport.

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Rights campaigners Friday, November 9, denounced Hong Kong's barring of a senior Financial Times journalist as another blow to press freedom in the city which has come under increasing pressure from an assertive China.

The principle promises Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed elsewhere in China, rights which are enshrined in a mini-constitution known as the Basic Law.

On Thursday, a prominent Chinese dissident writer, Ma Jian, said on Twitter that he was told by a Hong Kong arts centre that it would no longer host two of his talks as part of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

"This is not the way a civilised society would behave", Ma told FT.

Ma said it was Tai Kwun, not the festival, that had pulled his events.

"We have reconsidered our position in light of the possibility that these events might be prevented from taking place altogether".

"I'm a novelist, not an activist, and am attending the Festival to discuss my new novel, China Dream".

Ma said he had been unable to find a Hong Kong publisher for his satirical novel, China Dream, dubbed by Hong Kong's literary festival organisers as "Ma's answer to President Xi Jinping's goal of restored national greatness".

Calnin had previously said that Tai Kwun would not host Ma because they did not want the space to become a platform to advance any individual's political interest.

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