The Hong Kong Journalists Association deeply regrets the incident on 19 December when immigration officers denied two reporters from Hong Kong entry into Macau. The first reporter was Ho So-man, who works for Ming Pao and had been accredited to cover the 10th anniversary of the handover of Macau. The second is a Next Magazine reporter who was traveling to Macau with her family for holiday.
We urge the Macau government to explain why the two reporters were denied entry to the city, particularly since Ho So-man had been accredited to cover the anniversary, and seek complete vindication for the reporters.
According to information obtained by the HKJA, Ho So-man and her colleague Chow Chin-hung had received press accreditation from the Government Information Bureau of Macau to cover the anniversary activities. But when they arrived in Macau, Ho was rejected entry by officials citing the ‘Internal Security Act’. However, the officials did not explain why such law was cited against her apart from saying that it is a sensitive period for Macau. Meanwhile, her colleague was allowed entry into Macau.
The accusation of so-called ‘jeopardizing the security of Macau’ by Macau government officials is serious and unreasonably posed on the reporter. Such empty allegation is likely to jeopardize Ho’s journalistic work in the future and we ask for a complete vindication for the reporter.
In addition, the HKJA is appalled by the fact that a reporter from Next Magazine, who was visiting Macau on holiday, was also denied entry. The off-duty reporter was with her family members, who were allowed to enter. No reason was given to support the use of the Internal Security Act.
In light of the events in Macau, the HKJA is deeply worried that reporters’ right to perform their duties is being gravely jeopardized and the freedom of the press is being seriously undermined. We urge the Macau government to immediately explain why the two reporters were barred from entering Macau. The HKJA hopes that Macau will respect the right of press freedom in future.
Hong Kong Journalists Association