The Hong Kong police now get to decide who’s a member of the press

If you can’t solve a problem, redefine it.

That’s the approach the Hong Kong police appear to be taking as they announced today that they will stop recognizing journalist credentials from local media organisations, and define members of the press as only those who have been officially accredited by the government, or who are part of an “internationally recognized and renowned” outlet.

The move is a direct assault on the city’s press freedoms, with troubling and wide-ranging implications. It comes just weeks after a couple hundred police raided the newsroom of Apple Daily and arrested the publication’s outspoken founder, Jimmy Lai. Meanwhile, police have in past months stepped up their accusations, without providing evidence, that there are lots of “fake reporters” at protests.

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