Hong Kong Journalists Association expresses concern over
the use of media reports by the Security Bureau as evidence
in ban on Hong Kong Nationalist Party
At the recommendation of the Police, the Security Bureau has moved to prohibit the operation of the Hong Kong Nationalist Party. The documents provided by the Police to the Party contained a large number of media reports about the Party’s convenor Chan Ho-tin. They include reports about his media interviews and remarks at radio programmes and academic seminars. They are considered as evidence to substantiate the ban. We expressed concern over the use of media reports about the remarks given by relevant person/s as evidence for a ban. We are worried the move will adversely affect press freedom.
We are worried whether media organisations will be deemed as assisting moves to endanger national security if remarks in the relevant reports are deemed as a danger to national security.
We are worried whether media organisations will be deemed as participating unlawful activities if they report those organisations and their representatives after they are being banned and declared as illegal societies.
We are worried whether those media organisation will be liable to criminal charges if they report those activities.
We urge the Security Bureau to make clarification promptly in order to allay the concerns of journalists.
We maintain freedom of the press and expression should not be undermined when the Government invokes laws, including the Societies Ordinances, regardless of the circumstances.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
21 July 2018