Numerous reporters on the ground have complained that the police disrupted their news collecting activities by using force against them, during police operations to forcibly remove protesters from outside government headquarters. The reporters were pulled here and there or held by their necks by the officers. HKJA expresses regrets and strongly condemns such behavior. HKJA requests that the police follow up on and respond to these incidents. They are also requested to ensure that such actions would not be repeated again.
The large-scale protest and dispute between the police and public took place at the government headquarters in Admiralty last night. Many reporters were at the scene, in the forefront of the confrontation in order to report on it for the general public. HKJA received several complaints from the reporters that they were mistreated with force repeatedly by the police during news collecting. A reporter from ATV was held by his neck by a police officer. Another reporter from In-media was dragged by an officer even after showing his press card.
The police have been using force against reporters in all recent large protests during their operations. Such acts disrupt the media’s work in covering news. HKJA has raised this issue on several occasions with the police but to no avail.
HKJA now strongly urges the police to learn from similar incidents and to make prompt and proper improvements. They are also requested to ensure that when carrying out their duties, they will protect the safety of reporters and will respect their right to report in order to maintain press freedom.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
27 September 2014