The Hong Kong Police Force has been obstructing the work of reporters at protests in recent months. They have even used excessive and unnecessary force. The Hong Kong Journalists Association has time and again expressed our discontent. Police has not just failed to make any improvement. They did more to obstruct the work of reporters. Yesterday, police officers targeted at journalists spraying blue dye on them. And without giving prior warning, they threw teargas canisters at a place where many reporters had gathered. HKJA again vehemently condemns Police for unreasonably obstructing the work of reporters. We demand the force to immediately stop interfering and causing injuries to reporters – and apologise to the media for their wrongdoings.
According to several press reports, police have deployed a water cannon truck to drive away protesters in Sham Shui Po on Sunday. On one occasion, officers inside the truck have twice sprayed blue dye directly to them.
Meanwhile, several journalists have been rudely treated by police officers during their reporting in Mong Kok. Some riot-police officers have shouted at reporters, pushed and drove them away. An officer had pointed his gun at reporters. Late evening, a group of riot-police officers had deliberately thrown a hand teargas canister to a group of reporters before they withdrew. The canister exploded above the heads of several reporters. Thank to their protection devices, they escaped injuries.
HKJA vehemently condemns the Police for ignoring freedom of reporting and freedom of the press when they repeatedly used unnecessary force against reporters. We reiterate that freedom of expression and press freedom are an important cornerstone of Hong Kong. Truth-finding is the sacred duty of reporters. We cannot take abuses of the use of force by the police as normal. We urge the Government to immediately correct their mistakes.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
21 October 2019