Press Freedom Threatened by Raids Against News Organisations in Hong Kong

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, has today called on the Government of Hong Kong to protect journalists’ rights after eight media outlets were raided there on 24 July 2004.

According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), the IFJ affiliate in Hong Kong, documents were seized by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in raids on the news organisations on 24 July 2004, in response to the news organisations reporting the name of a witness in a fraud investigation.

The ICAC have claimed the news organisations violated the witness protection law by identifying a witness in a corruption case being investigated by the ICAC. The news organisations raided included: The South China Morning Post, Oriental Daily News, Sing Tao, the Sun, Apple Daily, and the Ta Kung Pao.

The IFJ questioned the need for such an extreme response and called for a thorough investigation, suggesting in a letter to the Hong Kong Government that the raids were designed to intimidate and harass journalists.

“We call on your Government to launch a full investigation into the raids, to issue an immediate apology and return all confiscated documents,” said IFJ President Christopher Warren today.

“These incidents are a gross overreaction and are an unquestionable attack on the fundamental rights of journalists, constituting a major threat to freedom of the press in Hong Kong,” said the IFJ.

Further information is available on in the IFJ Asia website
For further information contact IFJ President Christopher Warren on +61 411 757 668