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Letter to Indonesia and Philippines Authorities Concerning HK reporters' rights restricted in APEC


 

 

 

Dear President Aquino,

We are writing to express our deep concern and anger over the incident on 6 Oct 2013 that a number of Hong Kong reporters were barred from covering the APEC ministerial conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia. 

Hong Kong Journalists Association is shocked to see their questions, previously tossed at you, being placed on the same level as explosives and other fatal vice by both the Indonesian and Filipino authorities.

Not only were the reporters barred from the APEC Summit from Sunday onwards, they were yesterday stopped from re-entering their hotels and hounded every minute by the APEC officials.  According to the Indonesia authorities, they have put the journalists on a surveillance list.  No explanation has been given. 

This development borders on the absolutely ludicrous and the so-called security threat concern is totally unacceptable.

First, the journalists have not entered any embargo area while they were questioning Aquino.   They were questioning you on the Manila hostage-taking incident which resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong residents.

More embarrassing or sensitive matters have been raised by journalists at international gatherings like this APEC conference.  This is fully in keeping with press freedom in democratic countries around the world.  

Second, not only the journalists questioning you have been disqualified from the Summit news coverage, but also their colleagues working on the Summit.   The so-called security concern can hardly justify this umbrella ban.

Third, by limiting the journalists’ personal freedom outside the Summit, Indonesian authorities are going way beyond security concern within the Summit.

The association is extremely disappointed with Aquino's spokesman who said that the Hong Kong Reporters had "crossed the line" by loudly and aggressively questioning you, and APEC organizers have taken "appropriate measures".  It is completely an insult to press freedom and an attempt to discredit the integrity of Hong Kong reporters.

The moves by the Philippines and Indonesian Authorities are nothing but a mean to gag foreign journalists from asking tough questions that is of public interest. This is totally outrageous, unacceptable and must be quickly nipped in the bud.  Not just by Hong Kong journalists alone but by journalists in the Philippines, Indonesia and all over the world; and more importantly, by governments involved in APEC.

The association is demanding your apology to Hong Kong reporters.  Letters have also been sent to the APEC Secretariat to express our discontent and concern.

 

Hong Kong Journalists Association
8/10/2013

 

*********************************************************************************

 

 

Dear Mr Chalief Akbar,

We are writing to express our deep concern and anger over the incident on 6 Oct 2013 that a number of Hong Kong reporters were barred from covering the APEC ministerial conference taking place in Bali, Indonesia. 

The Hong Kong Journalists Association is shocked to see their questions, previously tossed at President Aquino of the Philippines, being placed on the same level as explosives and other fatal vice by both the Indonesian and Filipino authorities.

Not only were the reporters barred from the APEC Summit from Sunday onwards, they were yesterday stopped from re-entering their hotels and hounded every minute by the Indonesian officials.  According to the Indonesia authorities, they have put the journalists on a surveillance list.  No explanation has been given. 

This development borders on the absolutely ludicrous and the so-called security threat concern is totally unacceptable.

First, the journalists have not entered any embargo area while they were questioning Aquino.   They were questioning the President on the Manila hostage-taking incident which resulted in the death of eight Hong Kong residents.

More embarrassing or sensitive matters have been raised by journalists at international gatherings like this APEC conference.  This is fully in keeping with press freedom in democratic countries around the world.  

Second, not only the journalists questioning Aquino have been disqualified from the Summit news coverage, but also their colleagues working on the Summit.   The so-called security concern can hardly justify this umbrella ban.

Third, by limiting the journalists’ personal freedom outside the Summit, Indonesian authorities are going way beyond security concern within the Summit.

The moves by the Philippines and Indonesian Authorities are nothing but a mean to gag foreign journalists from asking tough questions that is of public interest. This is totally outrageous, unacceptable and must be quickly nipped in the bud.  Not just by Hong Kong journalists alone but by journalists in the Philippines, Indonesia and all over the world; and more importantly, by governments involved in APEC.

HKJA is demanding apologize to reporters and the monitoring of reporters be stopped immediately and the reporters be allowed to resume their coverage immediately.  Letters have also been sent to the APEC Secretariat to express our discontent and concern. 

 

The Hong Kong Journalists Association
8/10/2013

 

***********************************************************

 

 


 

08/10/2013 10:21   updated more
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