The Hong Kong Journalists Association condemns in the strongest terms the second arrest of journalist covering the police clearance of the Occupy protestors in Mongkok.
An Apple Daily photographer was arrested by the police while reporting on police operation in Mongkok yesterday evening. He was suddenly pushed to the ground, handcuffed and taken away. Other reporters in the vicinity asked officers for the reason for this shocking action but no response was forthcoming. A PPRB spokesman said the reporter had assaulted a police officer.
Handcuffing a reporter covering a public protest is an escalation of anti-media actions in the current police operation. This is similar to the pouncing on a now TV engineer for allegedly attacking an officer in the same vicinity two nights earlier but subsequently released without any charges being made.
These arrests are serious violation of press freedom enshrined in the Basic Law. They serve as an intimidation against the media from monitoring the police action. The message: “Don’t get too close or you will be arrested”.
We condemn such brutal acts on the part of the police to stifle press coverage of the current crisis. We demand the immediate release of the Apple Daily reporter and an explanation from the police on the latest attacks.
The Association is making an appeal to all members of the press and the public to submit to it any complaint and evidence of police interference or violence against the press. All evidence should be submitted to [email protected]
Hong Kong Journalists Association
27 November 2014