China defends barring of NGOs, claims it’s punishment for supporting unrest in Hong Kong

China Government has publicly backed its decision to bar the head of Human Rights Watch from entering Hong Kong, stating that it is the price for fomenting political unrest in the city.

Speaking in a Press Briefing on Monday, Chinese foreign minister through his spokesman, Geng Shuang said China’s decision to not allow anyone into its territory is an exercise of its sovereignty.

Kenneth Roth was supposed to give a press conference in Hong Kong this week to unveil the New York-based rights group’s latest global survey, which accuses China of prosecuting “an intensive attack” on international human rights agencies.

The long-time executive director said Sunday that he was turned back by authorities at the city’s airport.

China last month announced sanctions on American NGOs, including HRW, in retaliation for the passage of a US bill backing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.

According to Geng “Plenty of facts and evidence show that the relevant NGO has through various means supported anti-China radicals, encouraged them to engage in extremist, violent and criminal activity, and incited Hong Kong independence separatist activities,” Geng said.

“They bear major responsibility for the current chaos in Hong Kong. These organisations should be punished, and should pay the proper price.”

Hong Kong has been battered by nearly seven months of occasionally violent protests, its biggest political crisis in decades.

Millions have turned out on the streets of the semi-autonomous financial hub to demand greater democratic freedoms.

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