Journalists have worked tirelessly to report the truth in the past few months, but they have been repeatedly obstructed by police officers during reporting. There was no exception last night. A photojournalist from Radio Television Hong Kong was confronted by the police with shield and flashlight, and also sprayed with pepper water twice, another news photographer from RTHK in Prince Edward, was suspected of being hit by tear gas or rubber bullets, and both of had to be sent to hospital. HKJA once again strongly condemns the police’s willingness to interfere with the media’s work and urged the police’s top management to strictly control frontline personnel.
HKJA has repeatedly reported to the police that at the scene of conflict, many police officers deliberately directed at reporters strong lights, pepper sprays and tear off masks, repeatedly. As the representative of the Fire Services Department mentioned at a press conference, “the person who killed the horse is the one who is applauding by the side of the street”, if the police management continues to let the frontline police suppress the freedom of reporting, it is equal to encouraging the violence of the police force. The consequences are unimaginable.
News will become history. Flashlights, batons, and bullets can’t hide the truth. HKJA reiterates that in order to make people see the world, journalists will never bend to power. We urge every police officer not to forget the oath of “diligently without fear of or favour to any person and with malice or ill-will towards none.”
Hong Kong Journalists Association
1 November 2019