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Website of rights group blocked in Hong Kong

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The website of Hong Kong Watch, a rights group based in the UK, is now inaccessible through some networks in Hong Kong.

The site’s inaccessibility raises concerns that the island might soon experience more of the internet censorship experienced in China.

It is officially unclear why the website is being blocked. However, Hong Kong Watch fears that the blocking could be a free speech crackdown under the national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020.

The law targets secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, with punishment of up to life imprisonment.

The law allows law enforcement agencies to ask for assistance from internet service providers on cases related to national security.

“If this is not just a technical malfunction, and Hongkongers will no longer be able to access our website because of the national security law, then this is a serious blow to internet freedom,” said Benedict Rogers, the leader of the group.

“With the steady drip of website removals, there are fears that China could begin introducing its great internet firewall into the city. With time, this could have serious ramifications for the continued presence of western technology companies in the city.”

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