Hong Kong (AFP)

The exhibition of the winners of the World Press Photo contest opened on Sunday in Hong Kong in a private location, the site of a university initially planned having canceled, for security reasons, the event which presents photographs of the pro demonstrations. -democratic 2019 in the city.

The cancellation of the event, the showcase of the world's most prestigious annual photojournalism competition, comes as Beijing and local authorities lead a vigorous crackdown on a pro-democracy movement.

The exhibition was to be held from March 1 at the Baptist University of Hong Kong, but the latter withdrew from the project three days before the opening, citing "safety and security" concerns, forcing the organizing committee of the award to find a new location.

After its opening on Sunday, the exhibition will be open to the public from Monday until April 10 in a private location.

"We are convinced that this is a celebration of visual journalism and that Hong Kong people should be able to see these landmark works," Claudia Hinterseer, member of the organizing committee, told AFP.

"There is no stance, no political bias in this exhibition," she added.

The university did not explain the security fears it cited for not opening the exhibition which features ten stories in pictures of pro-democracy protests in Iraq, Algeria and others. themes such as climate change.

It also includes award-winning photos illustrating the violent pro-democracy protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019.

AFP photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba won World Press Photo's top prize last year with the image of a man in Sudan reciting poetry during anti-government protests.

This is not the first time this award has struggled to exhibit in China.

© 2021 AFP