Hong Kong Journalists Association expresses solemn concern over the arrest of a Baptist University journalism student

Hong Kong Journalists Association expresses solemn concern over the arrest of the third-year student reporter So King-wah, who studies at the Department of Journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). He was arrested while reporting at the junction of King’s Road and Fortress Hill Road on Sunday night. We also raise concern over the search of the reporters on duty who have already shown their identification documents. We hereby demand an account of the search from the Hong Kong Police Force.

The arrested student is a student reporter from Broadcast News Network (BNN) under the Department of Journalism of the HKBU, who has been covering the news since 10 April. So King-wah was reporting on the protests on Hong Kong Island as a BNN reporter when he was arrested. According to the statement by the HKBU Department of Journalism, So and several fellow reporters had been covering the protests on Hong Kong Island since 4 pm that day, and had released 13 news on BNN as of being arrested last night. So was wearing helmet and vest printed with the word “PRESS” and carrying the press card issued by the Department of Journalism when he was caught. Based on the information from BNN, police officers had barred other reporters from filming the search of So’s backpack and blocked cameras with their shields, on the ground of privacy.

The association expresses deep concern over this issue, and notes that the police force has been conducting body and bag search on reporters with discernible identification who were covering news. We call on the police force to make a clear account of the search of reporters and on barring the filming of bag search, and not to hinder news covering in the name of searching.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
16 September 2019

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