Four leading Nordic newspapers are protesting the attacks on press freedom in Hong Kong by the Chinese government. The statement was written by editors-in-chiefs Kaius Niemi (Helsingin Sanomat, Finland), Christian Jensen (Politiken, Denmark), Trine Eilersten (Aftenposten, Norway) and Peter Wolodarski (Dagens Nyheter, Sweden).

The statement was published shortly after the closure of the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper and on the same day the Chinese Communist Party is celebrating its 100-year anniversary on July 1. The closure of Apple Daily demonstrated the devastating impact of China’s National Security Law for Hong Kong, which has now been in effect for a year.

“The world can no longer passively observe how China is suppressing press freedom in Hong Kong” the editors write in their statement. “We are following with increasing anxiety how our profession – free, independent and critical journalism – is being criminalized.”

The newspapers announced that they will be reporting about the worrying development of Hong Kong even more than before. “We have the privilege of press freedom which our colleagues in Hong Kong are currently lacking”, the statement reads. The editors also express their support to their fellow journalists in Hong Kong and criticize the Chinese government for pretending to be kind leaders while attacking press freedom.

“Nordic countries have a strong tradition of free press, and we share a feeling of collective responsibility for it”, said Kaius Niemi, the editor-in-chief of Helsingin Sanomat, and a member of IPI’s global Executive Board. The editors said they believe that despite the current suppression of press freedom, new voices of media will eventually emerge.

Read IPI’s analysis to mark the one-year anniversary of the enactment of China’s national security law for Hong Kong.