July 24th, 2004
HKJA opposed ICAC’s raid of News Organisations
HKJA expressed deep concern over the raid on 5 news organisations today by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today during which journalists’ documents were taken away. The ICAC is investing a listed company corruption case. We thought the actions taken were highly inappropriate.
The ICAC claimed that the news organisations raided have committed perjury of justice by reporting on in chamber hearings of the corruption case. The HKJA believed, however, that the reports were already published in the newspapers, the ICAC has adequate evidences to take legal actions against the news organizations.
Hong Kong’s laws require the authority to apply for a court warrant before searching news organisations, this reflects the sensitivity of news information and its protection. The high profile raids by the ICAC taken today will definitely threaten freedom of the press.
The HKJA is also concerned about the ICAC’s invitation of two reporters to assist in the process of investigation. HKJA reiterated that it is journalists’ responsibility to protect our sources of information. Law-enforcing organizations should not exert pressure on journalists to disclose our sources and other confidential information.
HKJA Executive Committee