Hong Kong police on Saturday blocked access to the Web site of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan due to “national security” concerns, Chinese state-owned daily Wen Wei Po reported on Sunday.
The report from Wen Wei Po, which is run by Beijing’s Hong Kong Liaison Office, said that access to the Web site was blocked due to contraventions of Hong Kong’s National Security Law.
The Stand News Web site said the measure likely signaled that Beijing is planning to extend its Internet firewall to Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong residents frequently leave messages on our Web site, often asking for help. Blocking the site like this is a warning sign that Beijing is extending more mainland China-style restrictions to Hong Kong,” Pastor Huang Chun-sheng (黃春生) said.
The report was the second in the past few months of a Web site being blocked in Hong Kong for alleged contraventions of the National Security Law. On Jan. 6, access to Web site HKChronicles — which documents information related to protests in Hong Kong over the past two years — was blocked in Hong Kong for “potentially harming national security or inciting such a crime.”
Following the blocked access to the church Web site, users in Hong Kong reported that although they were unable to directly load the Web site, they could access it through a virtual private network service, the church said.
The Wen Wei Po report said that the church was “encouraging Taiwanese separatists, and aiding Hong Kong rioters and extremists.”
It also said that the church had confiscated HK$4 million (US$515,487) of HK$10 million that was raised through a campaign promoted by Hong Kong radio station D100 to help Hong Kong residents flee to Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the official Web site of the Democratic Progressive Party, as well as the recruitment page of the Ministry of National Defense’s Web site, have also been blocked in Hong Kong, a source said.
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