Kenneth Roth, the Chief of the Human Rights Watch based in New York, said on Sunday that he was denied entry into Hong Kong. Roth was in Hong Kong to launch the watchdog's annual report after a long spell of civil unrest in the city.
"I had hoped to spotlight Beijing's deepening assault on international efforts to uphold human rights," Roth said. "The refusal to let me enter Hong Kong vividly illustrates the problem."
In a video posted on microblogging website Twitter, Roth said he was turned back by authorities from the Hong Kong Airport.
I flew to Hong Kong to release @HRW’s new World Report. This year it describes how the Chinese government is undermining the international human rights system. But the authorities just blocked my entrance to Hong Kong, illustrating the worsening problem. https://t.co/GRUaGh8QUb pic.twitter.com/iTHVEXdbwO— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) January 12, 2020
China last month announced sanctions on American NGOs, including HRW. "A large amount of facts and evidence... make it clear that these non-governmental organisations support anti-China" forces and "incite separatist activities for Hong Kong independence", China's foreign affairs ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said at the time.
Roth joins a growing list of prominent people denied entry into Hong Kong by China.