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SCA: We would not allow Hong Kong's freedom of speech to be eroded

Following is the transcript (English portion ) of a stand -up briefing by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending a seminar to mark the 14th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law:

Reporter: Mr Lam do you think the departure of the two radio hosts is a reflection that Hong Kong's freedom of expression is under ...

SCA: Hong Kong's freedom of expression is of fundamental importance to Hong Kong; not just the freedom of speech but also the whole range of human rights is protected by the Basic Law and by the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance. We have done our utmost over the past 20 years to implement the Joint Declaration and to prepare for re-unification on the basis of the Basic Law. We would not allow Hong Kong's freedom of speech to be eroded. Hong Kong is a vibrant society because we are creative; freedoms are the basis of creativity, and this is something which we will protect to the utmost of our abilities. On our part, the Police Force will continue to investigate the two cases regarding these two radio hosts. On our part, we will also complement the activities of the media in hosting public discussion programmes and we will continue to subject ourselves to the scrutiny of the Legislative Council and the Hong Kong media.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)

Ends/Saturday, May 15, 2004