IFJ Urges Hong Kong Police to Explain Arrest of Journalists

The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) demands the Police Department of Hong Kong explains the detention

of two journalists after they took photos of police escorting protestors from a

demonstration in Hong Kong on July 1.

 

The IFJ learned that Kiri Choy, an intern

journalist with New Tang Dynasty Television, and David Cheung, a citizen

journalist with Green Radio, were detained by police on the night of July 1.

They told the IFJ they had disclosed their identities to the police but were

unable to produce their press cards when questioned. They were arrested and

detained at a police station in Aberdeen, Hong Kong for more than 10 hours.

 

“My employer faxed my identity

confirmation letter with a company seal to the police station shortly after I

called my company. They refused to release me, giving the excuse that my “letter

and company seal need to be verified as authentic” even though my company had

called them five times to do so,” Kiri said.

 

“The Police treated me like a protestor,

even using a charge of obstruction of a public place

to arrest me.”

 

David Cheung was also detained, but could not contact his employer.

 

“I did not participate in the

demonstration but was there taking photos, when police detained me just because

I didn’t bring my press card,” Cheung said.

 

“I was surprised police demanded to

check photographers’ press cards after they took away all the protestors in the

police car. It was the first time I have never seen that.”

 

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor Director

Yuk Kai Law, who regularly monitors police behaviour at demonstrations, was

among the photographers that stood aside while police escorted the arrested protestors

to police vehicles.

 

“We clearly did not obstruct police,

however they suddenly accused us of doing so and demanded to take us away with the

excuse of obstructing their duties which is obviously not true,” Law said.

 

He was also detained for obstructing

police duties and forced to leave the demonstration site by police. 

 

“While Hong Kong Police have a duty

to maintain an orderly society, it appears in this instance they have

contravened this duty by accusing media and other human rights defenders of

crimes without substantial evidence,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

said.  

 

“Press Freedom is enshrined in

Chapter 3 of Basic Law, in the constitution of Hong Kong.

This abuse of police power is a violation of the Basic Law and Chapter 39, Section 5 of Police General Orders which clearly states that

police are not allowed to block camera lenses.

 

The IFJ demands Hong

Kong police unconditionally drop all arbitrary charges against

journalists and uphold their constitutional duty to allow media to operate

freely, without fear of arrest.

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +61 2 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

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IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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