In response to media enquiries about comments on Hong Kong’s press freedom on World Press Freedom Day today (May 3), a Government spokesman stresses that Hong Kong is a free society and enjoys freedom of expression and freedom of the press. These rights are enshrined in the Basic Law and the Hong Kong Bill of Rights.
The spokesman said, "Hong Kong has consistently upheld the freedom of speech and of the press. A free press flourishes here. There are more than 40 daily newspapers and 690 weekly periodicals published, and many international news agencies, newspapers and electronic media organisations have major operations in Hong Kong.
"The media continues to perform its role rigorously in watching the work of the Government. The media reports freely in Hong Kong, commenting extensively and liberally on local and external matters, and on Government policies, programmes and activities.”
Turning to comments regarding the freedom of entry to Hong Kong, the spokesman, without commenting on individual cases, said the Immigration Department had the responsibility to uphold effective immigration control so as to ensure Hong Kong’s public interest.
“The department will handle all entry applications in accordance with the law and prevailing policy and having due regard to individual circumstances.”
Ends/Saturday, May 3, 2008