Journalists attacked in Hong Kong and Mainland China

 

 

Media Release: China                                             

March 1, 2013

 

The

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns attacks on journalists

that took place in Hong Kong and Mainland China last month.

 

A

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) statement on 28

February stated that broadcaster ARD’s correspondent Christine Adelhardt and

four colleagues were attacked by unidentified thugs on February 27 after they

finished filming at a village in Da Yan Ge Zhuang, Hebei province.

 

When

the crew left the village, their car was followed by four vehicles. Their car

was deliberately rammed and forced to a halt whereupon five or six people

surrounded their vehicle and proceeded to smash the windscreen using baseball

bats. Some of the attackers continued to attack the car despite two motorcycle

policemen arriving on the scene.  

 

A

local resident told Adelhardt that he recognized one of the thug’s vehicles as

belonging to the village’s Communist Party secretary.

 

When

the attackers were detained in a police station, they claimed the news crew had

“offended” them because they did not ask for permission to film.

 

A

second incident occurred in Sheng Shui, Hong Kong on February 28. May Tse, a photographer

with the South China Morning Post,

was attacked by two suspected “parallel” traders after she took photos of them

from a bridge. Tse was injured in the assault.

 

“One

of them… slapped my face and hurt my right temple. They then yelled and pushed

me… a few times. I cried out… that I’m a female photographer,” Tse said. “This

is unacceptable. They do whatever they like... It is a public area where people

have the right to take photos.”

 

Both

the FCCC and the Hong Kong Photographer’s Association have expressed anger at

the incidents and have called for an investigation into the assaults.  

 

“Sadly,

such behaviour is not unusual in Mainland China and has occasionally happened

in Hong Kong. Local government officials must understand the role of media. The

media should be allowed to carry out its professional responsibilities in a

public place without fear of harassment, intimidation or assault – particularly

if the media is investigating suspicious activity,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

 

The

IFJ urges the Governor of Hebei, Zhang Qingwei , and Leung Chun-Ying, the Chief

Executive of Hong Kong to send a clear message that there will be no tolerance of

criminal acts against the media. The IFJ calls on them to implement an education

campaign for government officials explaining the role of the media in the

community.

 

  

For

further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 

The

IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries 

Find

the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific 

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the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific