Oproep voor hulp aan ISOC Hong Kong

Naar aanleiding van de voortdurende spanningen in Hong Kong stuurde Sherry Sheck, ISOC lid in Hong Kong, een oproep voor wereldwijde steun:

Dear Friends, 

I would like to draw your attention to the injunction against inciting violence via messaging app Telegram and LIHKG forum in Hong Kong and ask for your support to our litigation for our civil action of challenging the injunction order to defend Internet freedom. 

What has happened 

You might have been well aware of the numerous protests sparked by the extradition bill in Hong Kong since June. The Hong Kong government has oppressed the movement in various means, one of which being Internet censorship and restrictions.

Last month after the government enacted the emergency law to ban wearing masks in public, executive councillor Ip Kwok-him stated that “the government will not rule out the possibility of placing a ban on the internet”. We made a joint statement to urge the government not to impose any Internet restrictions in response to the government’s stance. 

The injunction against inciting violence online came in our deep disappointment that the Hong Kong government is now paving the road of Internet shutdown. The injunction prohibits anyone from unlawfully posting “any material or information that promotes, encourages or incites the use or threat of violence” online, including on LIHKG and Telegram. 

The injunction provisions are overbroad. LIHKG and Telegram have been the major channels for protesters to coordinate protest campaigns. Any comments on police brutality or criticism against the government could fall into the scope of unlawful acts, and hence provoking the white terror of self-censorship.  

Furthermore, we fear that the government could further erode Internet freedom by forcing online platforms and Internet Service Providers to censor or restrict access to websites or applications on the ground of this injunction.

Access Now and ISOC Global also expressed their concerns about the injunction and urged the Hong Kong government to withdraw the injunction order.

What we are doing

We have filed a civil action to challenge the injunction order on Nov 11 and also launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of litigation. Our goal is for the court to declare that the injunction against free speech online is unconstitutional.

How you can help

Here is more information about our action: www.isoc.hk/news/jr-against-online-censorship. Please spread the words and the link for us to make more people aware of the Internet censorship and restrictions in Hong Kong and support our litigation to defend Internet freedom. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me at sec@isoc.hk if you have any questions about the development in Hong Kong or our litigation! 

Best regards,   

Sherry Shek 
Hong Kong Chapter