After more than a two and a half year investigation, a Ming Pao Daily journalist was told that his complaint of assault against several Hong Kong police officers was inconclusive and rejected. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly criticise the outcome of the investigation.
Tang, a journalist with Ming Pao Daily was reporting from the upper deck of a bus in Mong Kok during riots on February 9, 2016. Tang said that he was grabbed by two or three officers around the throat and dragged off the bus. He was then kicked and hit. The assault was filmed by an Apple Daily journalist, which was subsequently published.
The Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) told Tang that ‘some of the evidence was inconclusive’. CAPO said regarding the complaint that he was grabbed by the throat by officers, this was ‘not pursuable’ as the police could not be identified. The final complaint, that the police failed to cooperate with the press was also rejected. The ruling by CAPO was also accepted by the Independent Police Complaints Council, the watchdog for the police force.
Tang and the Ming Pao Staff Association said they had doubts about the conclusions CAPO reached. According to a report by the South China Morning Post, Tang felt the result was ‘puzzling and unacceptable’ and was considering pursuing legal action against the police.
The Ming Pao Staff Association said that the findings were ‘absurd’ because the assault was recorded on video. The Association were strongly dissatisfied, and queried whether CAPO exercised its duties in conducting a comprehensive investigation. In a statement the Association said it ‘deeply regretted’ the CAPO ruling.
The IFJ said: “The outcomes of the CAPO investigation into the assault on Tang raise questions about the impartiality of the investigation, given that there is footage of the assault. The Police Department must understand and respect the role of journalists. They have a duty to cooperate and protect the media while they are exercising their duties.”
The IFJ supports the Ming Pao Staff Association and Tang in continuing to seek justice for the assault.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries
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