Human Rights Watch chief stopped at airport denied entry into Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Jan 13 (ANI): Immigration authorities on Sunday barred the executive director of Human Rights Watch from entering the semiautonomous territory, where he was about to launch a report reviewing rights practices around the world that focused heavily on actions of the Chinese government.

Kenneth Roth, the group's executive director, said in a report on its website that immigration officials told him he could not enter Hong Kong when he landed at the airport, with no explanation provided.

"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," he added.

Human Rights Watch was scheduled to release its 652-page World Report 2020 at a news conference on January 15. In the report, its 30th edition, the group reviewed human rights practices in nearly 100 countries.

Roth's introductory essay, which each year highlights a major human rights theme, warns that the Chinese government is carrying out an intensive attack on the global system for enforcing human rights.

He will now launch the report at a news conference on January 14 at the United Nations in New York.

Earlier this month, the group co-wrote an open letter to the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam, urging her to set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate alleged excessive use of force by police in the more than seven months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong, according to South China Morning Post.

In December, Human Rights Watch was one of five US-based non-profit groups that were sanctioned by Beijing in its response to Washington's endorsement of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which could pave the way for diplomatic action and economic sanctions against the city's government. (ANI)