Denise Ho, a popular Hong Kong entertainer, had her concert cancelled this week. The sponsor was the cosmetics giant Lancome. The concert scheduled to be held in the former British colony was abruptly cancelled when mainland Chinese media criticised her as “a poison of Hong Kong”.
Ho is an outspoken supporter of the democracy movement in HK. In particular, she has spoken her support of the democracy demonstrations in 2014 called Occupy Central. In a brave move, she had posted a photo of herself and the Dalai Lama on her FB page.
The concert dubbed Energizing Factory @POHO Made of Unstoppable Energy on her FB page seems to have drooped like a wet noodle in the face of pressure from the PRC.
"This is not solely about me and Lancôme, nor only about Hong Kong. This is about suppression and self-censorship that is affecting global market and brands, and the white terror that is spreading among our societies, working to silence all," Ho wrote. Radio Free Asia
L’Oreal is a French based cosmetic company with a large and growing market in the PRC.
It is not alone in treading carefully in order to preserve access to the second largest economy. Holly wood films have changed plots to conform to censors in China. The self-censorship extends to the American Bar Association which declined to publish a book by human rights lawyer, Teng Biao, who is now residing in the US and is a visiting scholar at Harvard University. It has been alleged that the bar association did not want to upset the government in Beijing as the bar association is trying to establish an office in the PRC capital. They have denied this.
Teng Biao is an outspoken critic of the anti-democratic trend in the PRC, citing the detention of Nobel Liu Xiabo and the disappearance of the Panchen Lama.
Part of the rationale for allowing Communist China to rejoin the rest of the trading world was the argument that exposure to democratic ideals would move the country to allow more freedom for its citizens. The PRC has grown to be the second largest world economy and is increasingly repressive. Instead, it looks as if the global marketers are bowing to the pressure of the regime in order to preserve profits.
Radio Free Asia
Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
He made the plea while attending the Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF). As it happens, Clooney’s wife, Amal Clooney, is one of Fahmy’s lawyers.
Many in Canada are wondering what the Canadian government has done over the past year and a half to free Fahmy, a Canadian citizen. There was some publicized diplomatic intervention early in the men’s ordeal, but little has been seen lately. The minister of foreign affairs who was handling the case, resigned before the upcoming federal election. Since the second trial and subsequent sentencing, the Canadian government has applied for Fahmy to be deported, but he still remains in prison.
The imprisonment of the three journalist employed by Qatar based Al Jazeera News may not be about the conduct real or imagined of the journalists, but an attempt to strike at the network itself. Egypt has accused the rulers of Qatar of being sympathetic to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
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