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The Amnesty International logo is seen in their office in Hong Kong. Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

Amnesty International said Monday it will close its two Hong Kong offices by the end of the year.

Driving the news: The organization cited Beijing's national security law, which has made it harder for human rights groups to operate in Hong Kong.

  • The two Amnesty offices focused on local human rights education and research and advocacy in the region.

The big picture: Hong Kong has been an "NGO hub," according to Reuters, but that is slowly dissipating as other groups begin to leave in response to new national security laws.

  • While the national security law, which came into force in June 2020, broadly defines crimes such as terrorism and sedition, it mandates harsh punishments, per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian. It has led to the arrest of many citizens and curtailed freedoms.

What they're saying: “The environment of repression and perpetual uncertainty created by the national security law makes it impossible to know what activities might lead to criminal sanctions," Anjhula Mya Singh Bais, chair of Amnesty’s International Board, said in a statement.

  • "The law has repeatedly been used to target people who have upset the authorities for any number of reasons – from singing political songs to discussing human rights issues in the classroom," she said.
  • Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, added that "there are difficult days ahead for human rights in Hong Kong, but Amnesty International will continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Dec 2, 2021 - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

Dec 1, 2021 - World

WTA suspends tournaments in China, Hong Kong over treatment of Peng Shuai

Tennis player Peng Shuai. Photo: Zhizhao Wu via Getty Images

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has suspended all tournaments in China and Hong Kong in light of the treatment of tennis player Peng Shuai, WTA chair Steve Simon announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The WTA has maintained that the Chinese government's failure to address her accusations of sexual assault remains an issue of concern.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

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