It has been one year since the signing of the National Security Law by Hong Kong’s parliament, turning life and civil freedoms in the territory upside down.
Now, The Telegraph’s award-winning China correspondent Sophia Yan hosts ‘Hong Kong silenced’, the inside story of how that legislation is being used to crush dissent and to stamp out media and political freedoms in the semi-autonomous region.
In an ambitious four-part series, listeners will hear about the mum worried about her child’s future, the journalist feeling intimidated out of his own profession, and the activists and politicians who have had to flee their home to avoid prison.
Yan and the voices that she spotlights tell a story of how a rising superpower deals with questions of democracy and human rights and what happens to those who decide to challenge it. Told by the unique people of Hong Kong, this series documents their hopes and dreams as the province falls more and more under China’s influence.
Yan, who has recently covered Uyghur repression in Xinjiang and Chinese foreign relations for The Telegraph as well as the suppression of freedoms in Hong Kong, introduces the podcast’s theme with these words: “Given [China’s] 99.9% conviction rate, people weren’t keen [on a planned extradition law]. But the protests were about much more, too: fighting for democracy, freedom and preserving Hong Kong’s unique way of life.
“The demonstrations had been going on for months, but that hot, sticky day in June 2019 was when it became a movement.”