Pro-Beijing media target Hong Kong unions and labor groups in latest denunciations – Radio Free Asia

Hong Kong newspapers backed by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stepped up their denunciations of independent unions in the city on Friday, amid an ever-growing crackdown on civil society under the National Security Act.

Beijing’s support Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao Newspapers reported on Friday that the pro-democracy Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) would be the next civil society group to disband following media denunciations of the CCP.

“Our information indicates that CTU will soon be dissolved,” the report said. “The executive committee met on September 16 to pass the resolution, but it has yet to be formally approved at a general meeting on October 3.”

The report accused CTU of causing a “tsunami” of new union registrations during the 2019 protest movement and “fostering anti-Chinese sentiment and unrest.”

“They have completely deviated from the goal of a union under the law, are robbing the industry and dividing society,” the newspaper said, naming veteran union activist Lee Cheuk-ying, who is currently serving a sentence of 14 months in prison for his role in the 2019 protest movement.

He also honored Winnie Yu, founder and president of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, a union representing the staff of the Hospital Authority.

Political denunciations in the CCP-supported media are increasingly used to target civil society groups and NGOs in Hong Kong.

The whistleblowers typically focus on accusations that a given organization has done something that may violate a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the CCP from July 1, 2020.

Several groups split up

Several organizations, including protest marches, the Civil Human Rights Front, the Professional Teachers’ Union, and Wall-fare, a detainee support group due to the 2019 protest movement, were disbanded following the protest. similar articles or after being criticized by Hong Kong leaders.

The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance said it had recently received a letter from the Register of Trade Unions alleging that its funds were being used for “political purposes”.

The group’s questioning of the effectiveness of the Chinese-made COVID-19 jabs and the government’s LeaveHomeSafe app, and its setting up of street kiosks were also listed as issues requiring explanation, reported government broadcaster RTHK.

“The legal status of our alliance and the past activities we have organized, including the strike to fight for reasonable rights, should be protected by international covenants and the Basic Law,” said interim president David Chan.

He declined to comment when asked if the alliance intended to disband, RTHK reported.

Meanwhile, another labor NGO, the Asia Monitor Resource Center, said an article in the CCP-backed newspaper Ta Kung Pao the diary was inaccurate.

“For decades, we [have been] a civil society organization independent of any local or international organization, “he said.” We are not a subsidiary unit of any of the organizations as wrongly described in the Ta Kung Pao article. “

The group said it plans to shut down its Hong Kong operations by the end of September and relocate elsewhere in the region.

“The pressure on our operation has intensified considerably,” the group said in a statement posted on its website. “Therefore, we believe we have no choice but to cease operating in Hong Kong by the end of September.”

Pattern becoming clear

Chung Kim-wah, deputy director general of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (PORI), said the pattern of whistleblowing leading to an investigation by authorities was becoming increasingly clear in Hong Kong.

“We have seen so many similar events, in which the Ta Kung Pao or the Wen Wei Po publish the list of articles [alleged] crimes, sometimes photos, and even stalk certain people, ”Chung told RFA.

“Maybe the first thing the security secretary does when he arrives at work in the morning is look at the Wen Wei Po Where Ta Kung Pao to see what groups they’re targeting and make a list, ”he said.

“It seems that the [pro-CCP] the media are running Hong Kong now. “

Established in 1990, CTU grew out of the work of the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee (HKCIC), a Church-backed grassroots labor group active in the 1970s and 1980s.

A coalition of independent and politically unaffiliated labor organizations, its membership largely consisted of white-collar unions organizing the public service and professional or service employees in the public and subsidized sectors, including the Professional Teachers Union ( PTU) and the Hong Kong General Union of Social Workers.

The two former leaders Lau Chin-shek, founding member of the Democratic Party, and Lee Cheuk-yan were then elected to the city’s Legislative Council (LegCo).

The CTU has been involved in a number of mass protest movements, including the July 1, 2003 march to oppose national security legislation, which was eventually imposed on the city by the CCP on July 1. 2020.

He also helped found the Hong Kong Labor Party in 2005.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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