The Hong Kong Journalists Association called on Chief Executive Carrie Lam to intervene immediately to stop the police from harassing journalists reporting on the massive demonstration against the Fugitive Transfer Bill
The union has received more than 15 complaints from journalists on the following trampling of reporters’ right:
- Accusing journalists with valid press pass of possessing offensive weapons and searching their bags;
- Forcing journalists with shields and batons to leave and causing injury to several;
- Targeting retreating reporters with pepper spray, causing burns on their back and hands
- Refusing to define and announce no-man zone while driving reporters away with long shields and batons
- Interrupting photo-taking and video shooting with torch
All complainants said they displayed valid identification documents at prominent places and identified themselves at the time of the reported incidents, but the Police ignored all such efforts. These are outright infringement of the promised press freedom in Hong Kong.
Attempt to meet the Commissioner of Police to raise the issue has been refused. Neither has a Tuesday meeting with the Police Public Relations Branch yielded any improvement.
Hong Kong people and the international community are watching the large-scale protest. It is important that whatever clearance the police planned be conducted under full media monitoring. It matters not only for the government’s accountability to its citizens but also Hong Kong’s international reputation.
It is the job of the Chief Executive to safeguard the implementation of Basic Law Article 27 that promises our citizens press freedom. She should step in now.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
12 June 2019