China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong
Benedict Rogers. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 12 October 2017

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

China raps Britain after activist barred from Hong Kong

BEIJING: China has lodged a diplomatic protest with Britain after London demanded to know why a British human rights activist was barred from entering Hong Kong, it said Thursday.
Immigration agents stopped Benedict Rogers, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party’s human rights commission, from entering the former British colony on Wednesday morning.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson voiced concern and said his government would be “seeking an urgent explanation.”
China “launched stern representations” over the comments, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a regular press briefing.
“The central government is responsible for Hong Kong-related diplomatic affairs,” she said, adding: “who can get in and who cannot is within our sovereignty.”
“Hong Kong affairs are China’s domestic affairs. We oppose the interference in China’s domestic affairs in any way by any foreign government, institution or person.”
Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997 under a “One country, two systems” formula intended to protect its freedoms and way of life. The semi-autonomous city is supposed to handle its own immigration affairs.
Hong Kong’s immigration department said it did not comment on individual cases.
But Hua said that Rogers “meant to interfere in China’s domestic affairs and the judicial independence of Hong Kong.”
The barring of Rogers, who has spoken out against the jailing of Hong Kong democracy activists, came a week before a major congress in Beijing of the ruling Communist Party.
The activist said he believed the embassy had somehow become aware of private discussions he had had about possibly visiting the campaigners in prison, which he later realized would not be possible.


British Asian celebrities produce video to tackle coronavirus myths

 British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
Updated 24 min 13 sec ago

British Asian celebrities produce video to tackle coronavirus myths

 British-Asian celebrities have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine. (AFP/Screenshots/File Photos)
  • Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi are also included in the video

LONDON: British-Asian celebrities including cricketer Moeen Ali and comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Meera Syal have produced a video to dispel coronavirus myths and urge people to get a vaccine.

The video was organized by “Citizen Khan” creator Adil Ray, who said that he wanted to tackle falsehoods surrounding vaccinations for those from ethnic minority communities.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi are also included in the video.

Conspiracy theories and myths about coronavirus vaccines have caused concerns about uptake, particularly in the South Asian community.

“We all just feel we needed to do something,” Ray told the BBC.

He appears in the five-minute video with celebrities like former “Coronation Street” actress Shobna Gulati, who used her space in the clip to say: “We will find our way through this. And we will be united once again with our friends and our families. All we have to do is take the vaccination.”

Comedians Sanjeev Bhaskar, Asim Chaudhry and Ranganathan were on hand to debunk common coronavirus myths.

Ranganathan joked: “There’s no chip or tracker in the vaccine to keep watching where you go. Your mobile phone actually does a much better job of that.”

A recent poll commissioned by the Royal Society of Public Health showed that just 57 percent of black, Asian and minority ethnic people (BAME) would be happy to receive a vaccine, compared with 79 percent of white Britons.

Dr. Harpreet Sood, an NHS doctor heading up an anti-discrimination effort, said fake news and myths were likely behind the worrying numbers for the BAME community.

The UK government has recently started to tackle the problem directly, with UK Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick arguing that faith leaders were crucial to vaccine uptake. His announcement came as he opened the UK’s first vaccination center in a mosque.

Jonathon Kitson, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, told Arab News: “Mass vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic, and it is great to see people from all backgrounds working to dispel myths, fake news and conspiracy theories like this.”

He added: “The faster the rollout can take place, the sooner we can get back to normal.”

Sam Bowman, co-founder of a new myth-dispelling website called “Anti-Virus: The COVID-19 FAQ,” told Arab News: “It is absolutely vital that everyone realizes that the vaccine is a safe, effective ticket back to normal life. It will mean that people of all ages are safe to see each other again, and go back out to work and their old lives.”

He added: “It’s great to see this video correct the misinformation being promoted — anyone pushing an unscientific anti-vaccine lie needs to be publicly contradicted and exposed as the shysters they are.”