London-based Amnesty International has succumbed to the pressures of Hong Kong’s wide-sweeping National Security Law (NSL), announcing on Oct. 25 its decisions to withdraw operations from the city.
The human rights organization will close its two Hong Kong branches, citing fear of “restrictions of freedoms of expression.”
The nongovernmental organization (NGO) said its branch that deals with human rights education programs in Hong Kong will close on Oct. 31, while another branch, which focuses on research and campaigning across East and Southeast Asia, will fold by the end of the year. The group also announced its decision to shift its Hong Kong advocacy to other parts of the Asia-Pacific region.
The NGO has played an ongoing role in influencing for the better the social and civil rights climate in Hong Kong. It was behind the push for full abolition of the death penalty in the city in the 1993 and unveiled police misconduct during the 2019 pro-democracy protests.