Ching Cheong was formally arrested by the Beijing National Security Bureau on 5 August. Members of the HKJA and HKJA Executive committee members protested to the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, urging the Chinese authorities to deal with Ching Cheong’s case in a manner that is open, fair and consistent with the rule of law. The HKJA also urged the authorities to let him meet with his relatives, the Straits Times and legal representatives, in order to protect his interests. Ching Cheong’s case has a chilling effect on Hong Kong journalists’ confidence in working on the Mainland, therefore, the HKJA held two seminars about the pitfalls of covering news on Mainland. In the seminars, experts on Chinese law, senior China news journalists and commentators were invited to share their opinions about the dangers of covering news in China under the existing framework of National Security Ordinances and lack of independent judiciary in China. It concluded that the fundamental solution to protect journalists is to increase press freedom and freedom of expression in China.
The aggressive attack on press freedom in Nepal by its government has aroused deep concern from journalists around the world. The killings and imprisonment of journalists have to be condemned. The IFJ participated in a“Nepal Press Freedom Day” campaign organized by different journalist associations globally, protesting at their local Nepali consulates or embassies on August 30th. The HKJA designed a T-shirt for the campaign in order to show our solidarity. The situation is still severe, so, please wear the T-shirt to arouse public concern; for those without a T-shirt, the HKJA still has some stock, please contact the HKJA office at 2591-0081 to get one.
A guiding light behind the HKJA, Mr. Jack Spackman, died on 25 August in San Francisco at the age of 70. Mr. Spackman vigorously devoted himself to the HKJA’s work to pursue better conditions for working journalists and lift the industry’s professional standards. We express our sincere condolences to his family.
The HKJA has formed a team to participate in the Oxfam Trailwalker 2005. No kidding! The 100km race is really something. Our team leader will be Apple Daily’s Chong Hiu Yeung, please show your support for them. Also the HKJA Football Cup will soon commence and we have 20 teams playing for the trophy this year.
To improve the planning of HKJA’s future activities we have sent you a questionnaire; please fill it in and fax to the HKJA’s office ASAP. We are also organising a three-day tour to Taiwan to learn from Taiwan’s media experience and to visit some media offices and political figures. Please see our later notice for details.