A large number of reporters were unreasonably pushed and attacked by police officers outside the Grand Plaza in Mong Kok last night (11/8). Some reporters were even punched and crushed to the ground and injured. During this time the police once again screened reporters and issued penalty tickets for violating Covid-19 social distancing rules to several online media and student reporters. HKJA and HKPPA strongly condemn the abuse of force by the police and express dissatisfaction with the police’s indiscriminate use of tickets to interrupt interviews being made by reporters.
According to media reports, a large number of police officers stationed outside the Arran Center suddenly rushed out of the cordon and pursued reporters who were wearing reflective vests and handling video equipment on Nathan Road at 9 pm last night. During this period, many people were driven off, and some reporters were stabbed by the police. At the same time, the police quickly pulled up the orange tape to expand the blockade and pushed reporters into the blockade. They asked reporters to stop the live broadcasting and show their press cards, and said that if they were not “proper journalists”, they would be fined. Some news reporters and student reporters later received tickets.
Over the past year HKJA and HKPPA have repeatedly appealed to the government and senior police officers to face up to the problem of the use of force by front-line police officers against the media, but the authorities have turned a deaf ear to it. Recently, the force has taken the initiative to define ‘journalists’ in order to interfere with media reporting. We urge the government to stop dodging police brutality issues, or else it will be hard to maintain Hong Kong’s core values such as freedom and the rule of law.”
12 August 2020