Nine Hong Kong journalists involved in a minor incident at last year’s APEC Summit in Jakarta have been banned from entering the Philippines. The ban came to light when one of them – a now News cameraman – returned to the Philippines for a private visit and was denied entry at Manila Airport. He then learned that the ban extended to the other eight colleagues who had tossed questions to the Filipino leader about the previous year’s hostage-taking incident in Manila from the sidelines of the conference.
HKJA urges the Philippines Government to rescind the ban against the journalists of now TV, RTHK and CRHK immediately.
A cameraman of now News, who had covered the APEC Summit in the Philippines last year to interview President Aquino on the Manila hostage-taking incident but then had been disqualified from the covering, was refused landing in the Philippines at his leisure travel there. The document issued by the authority to the cameraman revealed that the nine journalists involved were blacklisted. HKJA expresses outrage and regrets over the incident and demands the authority to immediately abandon the blacklist.
HKJA also urges the Hong Kong government to raise this matter with the Philippines Government. Meanwhile, HKJA will be writing to the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to seek more information and to resolve this issue promptly. HKJA will also be writing to the Philippine Consulate General to lodge a strong complaint. As the next APEC Summit will be held in the Philippines and as HKJA is greatly concerned with the blacklisting of journalists anywhere, we hope the authorities will handle all applications to cover the summit impartially and utter fairness.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
21 November 2014