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Open Letter to APEC CEO Summit 2013 from Hong Kong Journalists Association


HKJA condemns the barring of Hong Kong Press from covering APEC. An Open Letter has been submitted to APEC CEO Summit 2013 today. Please refer to the open letter as below for your information.
 
Hong Kong Journalists Association
 
 
 



Wishnu Wardhana
APEC CEO Summit 2013 Chair
ABAC INDONESIA
Mitra Building, 2nd Floor
Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 21
Jakarta 12930, Indonesia
 
 
 
Dear Mr Wishnu Wardhana,
 
 
We are writing to express our anger over an incident yesterday (6 Oct 2013) that a number of Hong Kong reporters were barred from covering the APEC ministerial conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia.
 
The move came after some Hong Kong reporters asked the president of Philippines Benigno Aquino III several questions on the sidelines of the summit.  He did not answer the questions, then several APEC staff approached those reporters and seized their press badges, saying, “We don't welcome you. You offended our Excellency.”  
 
The reporters were then told they were not allowed to cover the Summit. APEC subsequently deactivated their press badges and barred them from entering the Media Centre.  At least nine people, including journalists and technicians, from three Hong Kong electronic media outlets, namely Now TV, Commercial Radio and Radio Television Hong Kong were affected.  
 
We are also astonished to hear from the news report this morning that the officials of the APEC Media Centre accused reporters of posing a security threat at the conference.
 
We are angry with such absurd and vicious accusation.  It is completely an attempt to discredit the integrity of Hong Kong reporters.
 
We insist that it is journalists' ordinary duty to ask questions of public concern.  The Hong Kong public remains concerned with the killing of its people during the hostage taking crisis for which Manila has yet to provide a satisfactory explanation.  The barring of the media for asking critical questions is an outright infringement of press freedom and public's right to know that is totally unacceptable. We are appalled to see such outrageous actions are allowed to take place at an enormous international gathering like APEC. 
 
We strongly condemn the barring and urge the APEC ministerial conference's organizer and relevant authorities to take up the matter immediately to make sure that our reporters can resume their ordinary duty very soon.  We also look forward to a satisfactory explanation of this incident and an assurance that no reporter will be restricted from carrying out their work again in the future. 
 
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
 
 
Sincerely,
Hong Kong Journalists Association
 
 
cc.  
Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines
Mr Leung Chun Ying, Chief Executive of HKSAR 
Dr Alan BOLLARD (Mr), APEC Executive Director
Mr Gatot S Dewa Broto, PR & Information Centre Head, APEC CEO Summit 2013
Ms Sofia Sudarma, Directorate General for Information & Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs RI, APEC CEO Summit 2013
07/10/2013 15:24   updated more
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