In an email sent to friends and former colleagues, Vines said the decision to leave was prompted by “a cumulative series of alarming events, both personal and political”, adding that it was a decision made with “a heavy heart and a mixture of enormous regret and relief”.
“The personal implications are clear for people who have been public advocates for democracy and liberty and have been engaged in what has become the very high-risk occupation of journalism. The white terror sweeping through Hong Kong is far from over and the near-term prospects of things getting better are simply non-existent,” he said.
The email goes on to say: “The institutions that ensure the liberty of Hongkongers are being dismantled by people who care so little that they don’t even flinch when it becomes abundantly clear that the very essence of the place is being destroyed.”
The news of his departure from Hong Kong comes two months after Vines announced he was leaving RTHK, citing the national security law.
He also said RTHK is now under more pressure to be “an organ of government rather than a public broadcaster”. The station said at the time that it would not comment on individual personnel matters.
Vines had presented the English-language political TV programme The Pulse for many years. The final episode of the latest series aired in June and it’s not clear whether the show will return after the summer.