HKJA condemns police obstruction of reporters’ work

On the morning of 27 June, several journalists were treated roughly by police outside the Hong Kong Police Headquarters when the journalists were trying to conduct an interview with Chief Superintendent Rupert Dover. The Hong Kong Journalists Association condemns such rude behavior that obstructed journalists’ work.

Chief Superintendent Rupert Dover is understood to have led the police operation to disperse the protesters during violent police-protesters clashes in Admiralty on 12 June.  The Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo had said that the decision to shoot tear gas and rubber bullets during that clearance operation was made by the commander on site. On 27 June morning when the police were dispersing the protesters outside the Hong Kong Police Headquarters, several journalists found that Rupert Dover was at the scene and tried to ask him if the decision to use such force on 12 June was appropriate. Dover did not respond to journalists’ questions, while the police around him pushed and insulted the journalists, thereby obstructing them from interviewing Rupert Dover.

HKJA believes that interviewing and questioning public figures and those who hold public authority are the duties of a journalist. Journalists have the right to report legally in public places. People being interviewed also have the right to decide whether to accept interview by journalists, but they should not insult journalists or  use force or violence to avoid being interviewed by journalists. HKJA condemns any individual or groups using force or rude behavior to obstruct journalists’ reporting or interviewing.  We urge the police to protect the journalists’ right to report.

Hong Kong Journalists Association

Joint Statement of Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and Hong Kong Journalists Association
HKJA Statement Regarding the Obstructions of Reporting