Country Profile: Hong kong

Like all other dictatorships, China regards freedom of thought and political openness as dangerous. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, the Chinese government stepped up its control over students through "patriotic" education campaigns. It also imposed more restrictions on scholars. Hong Kong's universities, long beacons of academic freedom, are under threat and risk losing their autonomy and internationally respected status. Despite this, academics working in universities, think tanks, and NGOs have, over the years, continued to expose and criticize systemic injustices. 

ESW calls on the Chinese government to uphold the legally binding Joint Declaration in which Beijing solemnly vows that freedom “of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of travel, of movement, of correspondence, of strike, of choice of occupation, of academic research, and of religious belief” would “remain unchanged for 50 years.” We believe that universities and academics around the world must take a firm stand when academic freedom is threatened abroad because, ultimately, the global challenge of defending our rights requires collective and institutionalized action.


(Last updated: August 30, 2021)


Please send appeals to the following:


Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng
Department of Justice
Secretary for Justice's Office
5th floor, Main Wing, Justice Place,
18 Lower Albert Road, Central,
Hong Kong
Fax: +852 39184119

Chief Executive Carrie Lam
Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region Office of the Chief Executive
Hong Kong
Fax: +852 25090580


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