Hong Kong Journalists Association expresses deep regret over the arrest of HKJA chairman Chan Ron Sing

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairman and Channel C’s Multimedia Production Supervisor (local news) Ronson Chan was stopped by two plainclothes police officers when he was on his way to cover a housing estate owners’ meeting in Mong Kok at around 11 a.m. yesterday (September 7). Chan was asked to show his ID card and was ready to cooperate with the officers, but he was interrupted when one of them began shouting and demanded immediate compliance from him. Chan then exercised his right in accordance with the Police General Orders by asking the officer to identify himself, but the officer responded by warning Chan that he would face arrest.

Despite Chan’s willingness to cooperate, he was put in handcuffs a few minutes later and was arrested. Chan was then taken to the Mong Kok Police Station, where the officer forcibly twisted the handcuffs on Chan, which led to pain and bruises on his wrists. He also verbally abused Chan. Chan was eventually accused of obstructing a police officer and disorderly conduct in a public place. After being detained for over 11 hours, Chan was released at about 10:45 p.m. on a HK$500 cash bail. He is required to report to the Mong Kok Police Station on September 21.
The HKJA expresses deep regret over the incident and condemns Chan’s arrest. He was intercepted by the officers while performing his duty to report. Although he was cooperating with the police, he was met with unreasonable treatment and was even arrested.

The officer’s behaviour warrants questions over whether police abused their powers and used routine checks to make things difficult for journalists. This undermined their freedom to report, and therefore, the freedom of the press. Moreover, Chan was never formally informed of the reasons for his arrest, which inevitably raises the suspicion that police intended to conceal them. The incident not only violated the rights of an arrested person, but also the right of journalists as well as the public’s right to know. The officer’s cruel behaviour damages the reputation of the police force and may cause even more entrenched conflicts between police and the media and the community.

The HKJA urges police to offer justification to their case as soon as possible, to fulfill their promise to journalists that they are free to report and that the freedom of the press is fully protected under the Basic Law.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
8 September 2022

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