Website hosting company Wix apologized Friday for taking down a pro-democracy site in Hong Kong, Newsweek reported.
In an email, the Israeli company said it had made a mistake and that the website has now been restored.
The site in question is 2021HKcharter.com and was taken down by the company after receiving a request from the Hong Kong police alleging that messages on the website “are likely to constitute crimes endangering national security and Wix could be prosecuted if it allowed the site to remain,” pro-democracy activist Nathan Law tweeted.
For Nathan, this incident “shows that our freedom of speech is not protected even if we are not in Hong Kong and China,” his tweet reads….
Law, is a former Hong Kong legislator and was the leader of the opposition. He currently lives in the UK and launched in March, along with several activists and former legislators, the Hong Kong Charter 2021 project.
The site, which was offline for three days, calls for the unity of Hong Kongers in exile to support the movement fighting for democracy in Hong Kong.
Since last year, Hong Kong has been totally under the control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which illegally imposed the “national security law” to end freedom of expression and to harass and prosecute dissidents.
Law and the rest of the founders of the project sought refuge in Australia and the United Kingdom after suffering persecution by the CCP.
The Hong Kong Charter 2021 was publicly launched on March 14 via an online press conference and was signed by hundreds of exiled Hong Kongers and Hong Kong companies based overseas.
Two days after the letter’s release, the Hong Kong Security Bureau said that anyone who signed it could be charged with “planning or engaging in acts that undermine sovereignty or colluding with foreign forces to sanction or engage in hostile activities against Hong Kong and the mainland [China] ” as the document violated national security law, South China Morning Post reported.
According to the Security Bureau, this mandate affects not only Hong Kong and Chinese residents, but also all Hong Kongers living abroad, including those living in countries where they are protected by freedom of speech laws.
The CCP seeks to silence dissidents by any means and has no problem pressuring anyone to do so. This time it did so with the company Wix, which was threatened with a fine of up to $100,000 and up to six years in prison if it did not comply with the request to take down the 2021HKcharter.com website within 72 hours of receiving the notice, which was sent on May 24 by the Hong Kong police.
While initially acquiescing, after several complaints from Law, the company reinstated the website within 3 days of taking it down, making its apologies public with an email that read as follows.
“We have reviewed our initial screening and have realized that the website never should have been removed and we would like to apologize. We are also reviewing our screening process in order to improve and make sure that mistakes such as this do not repeat in the future.”
This case only goes to show the dangerous extent to which the “national security law” imposed by the CCP in Hong Kong can reach.