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Hong Kong denies entry to Human Rights Watch director

Hong Kong authorities barred the head of Human Rights Watch from entering the Chinese territory on Sunday, the advocacy group said.

Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director, had planned to launch the organization’s annual world report in Hong Kong this week. The report will “highlight the Chinese government’s intensifying assault on the international human rights system,” the group said in a statement.

The move to bar Roth follows China’s pledge last month to sanction organizations that it said had “performed badly” in relation to anti-government protests that have roiled Hong Kong for more than seven months. Human Rights Watch, the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House were among the groups cited for sanctions.

Roth, a U.S. citizen, said that immigration authorities at the airport told him he could not enter Hong Kong, but that they did not give a reason.

“The refusal to let me enter Hong Kong vividly illustrates the problem,” Roth said in the statement.

The Associated Press