Selected members of the Hong Kong press covering the Hong Kong protests since June 2019, have had their private personal data posted online. This data has included photos, dates of birth, social media account details, residential addresses and contact information
The HKJA considers this doxxing to be part of a concerted campaign to intimidate journalists and ultimately undermine reporting of the protests in Hong Kong.
Chairperson of the HKJA Mr Chris Yeung said yesterday” We are concerned that this is part of a concerted and apparently orchestrated campaign to undermine reporting of the protests in Hong Kong and to intimidate reporters. This is an attack on press freedom in Hong Kong”
“Our members have recorded the increased targeting of journalists whilst they are doing their job of reporting the facts in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances.”
The HKJA has for some time also been monitoring efforts to denigrate the press in the eyes of the public. We have noted recent online dissemination of unsubstantiated allegations of media bias, use of dehumanising language to describe journalists and attempts to obstruct journalists on the front line. Disturbingly, we have noted instances of physical assaults on journalists.
The Hong Kong and international media is responsible for reporting the facts concerning events in Hong Kong. This has resulted in coverage of controversial issues such as apparent use of excessive force by police, allegations of selective policing and accusations of police collusion with elements of organised crime. The press has also reported instances of violent and destructive behaviour by protestors and claims of children of policemen being bullied at school. Such reporting is impartial, properly sourced and concerns matters of great public importance.
It is incumbent upon the HKSAR government to uphold all Basic Law freedoms including the freedom of the press. HKJA therefore calls on the Government and all state actors including the police, to unequivocally condemn any and all instances of obstruction, intimidation of and attacks upon journalists and to thoroughly investigate attacks on press freedom without delay, including these recent instances of theft of journalist’s personal data and criminal breach of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
17 September 2019