Violence and threats of violence against journalists reporting events in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Journalists Association deplores the use and threat of violence towards journalists covering events in Hong Kong.

HKJA notes with grave concern, reports by Radio Television Hong Kong ( RTHK) of serious injury to a journalist covering protests in Hong Kong on Sunday 29 September 2019.

Reports have stated that the journalist, working for an Indonesian-language publication based in Hong Kong, was injured in the eye by a rubber bullet or beanbag round whilst covering demonstrations in Wanchai.

Media video footage of her receiving medical attention shows her wearing a high visibility jacket with press markings as well as press card on display. HKJA also understands that the journalist was also wearing a helmet with press markings.

We are gravely concerned by these reports of serious injury to a journalist whilst covering events in HK. We are particularly concerned by reports that the injury was caused by a rubber bullet or bean bag round and that the journalist was not in the immediate vicinity of protestors at the time of the incident, she was clearly identifiable as being a member of the press and was with a number of other journalists at the time also wearing high visibility press markings.

Police have a duty to assist the press and facilitate reporting by members of the press. It is self-evident that this means that police should not cause injury to members of the press.

The HKJA will be investigating this incident and if substantiated, will be taking action to protect the rights and safety of our members

The HKJA also expresses grave concern about recent online threats, purportedly by radical protestors, to TVB journalists if they cover events in Hong Kong from today onwards.

We deplores the use and threat of violence towards journalists covering events in Hong Kong from any source and calls on police and protestors to allow journalists to carry out their job of reporting the facts without risk of serious injury or threats of violence.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
30 September 2019

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