Sanlian published a book claiming that the Independent Reviewers Association received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Association won a lawsuit for defamation.
The book “Occupy China”, published in 2015 by Sanlian, a bookstore controlled by the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, claimed that the Independent Reviewers’ Association received funding from the National Endowment for Democracy in the U.S. The Association claimed that the statement was inaccurate. The case was heard two years ago, and Provisional Judge Hui Wai-keung issued a written judgment on Monday (29), ruling in favor of the Independent Reviewers’ Association, with the defendant paying the plaintiff $250,000 in damages and granting the plaintiff’s application for an injunction prohibiting the defendant from publishing the defamatory words.
The Independent Critics Association also responded to the verdict on Monday, saying that it welcomed the High Court’s ruling and believed that it had done justice to the HKCAAVQ and preserved its reputation. The ICAA reiterated that it does not receive foreign money and is not dictated by foreign organizations, and that its meager funding relies solely on proceeds from membership dues, article fees, book sales and lectures. When the HKCAA was founded in 2014, it has publicly stated that it will not accept foreign donations.
The Association believes that society should have a good environment for freedom of expression, and that statements from all sides should be based on facts and verification.