The HKJA strongly regrets and condemns the excessive force used by police to carry away a reporter during the clearance operation outside the Legislative Council early this morning. It calls on the police to give a full explanation of the incident.
Last night, a clash broke out between protesters and police outside the Legislative Council complex. Journalists positioned themselves in the front line so they could report on the events to the public. Unfortunately, one senior police officer prevented one RTHK reporter from taking video shots at close range as the officers were carrying the protesters away. He then ordered his subordinates to carry the reporter away. Six police officers grabbed the reporter’s neck, hands and feet from behind and carried him away. The reporter’s neck was held so tightly that he was unable to tell them he was a reporter. Although other reporters told officers he was a journalist, the police still refused to stop using force. Police officers later explained that they had decided to take such action because “he moved into a position right at the front”.
The HKJA considers that the force used by the police against the reporter was totally unnecessary and unreasonable as the reporter had never entered a restricted area or prevented the police from performing their duties. The officers also knew that he was a reporter. The HKJA strongly urges the police to give a full explanation and apologise to the reporter.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
June 14, 2014