A shooting case occurred near Tsui Ping Shopping Centre in Tai Po last night (20/12), a large number of riot police officers arrived at the scene and once fired tear gas to disperse the media and onlookers. Police officers also repeatedly beat a reporter’s hand and his mobile phone lens with baton, and several other reporters were uncomfortable after being pepper-sprayed by the police. Hong Kong Journalists Association strongly condemns police officers for deliberately provoking and attacking journalists, and once again urges the government and police to correct disciplinary problems of frontline police officers.
According to the “Stand News”, Wong Siu Kin, the member-elect of Tai Po District Council, was overridden by police officers last night, a large number of reporters were filming. During this period, a riot police officer suddenly approached and beat the “Stand News” reporter ’s hand. When the reporter claimed that “there was a baton hitting the reporter ’s hand”, the policeman stepped forward again, hitting the reporter ’s cell phone with the baton six times in a row, and then using the baton pointed to the reporter and then returned to the police blockade.
Some riot police later pepper-sprayed toward reporters, several nearby reporters felt discomfort and needed emergency treatment at the scene.
HKJA strongly condemns police officers for unreasonably attacking journalists. The actions not only aroused the emotions of the people at the scene and harmed the health of journalists, but also seriously hindered the media’s work and harmed press freedom. We urge the police to face up to the problem of the abuse of force by police officers, to prevent the unhealthy trend from spreading in the police force.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
21 December 2019