IFJ Urges Hong Kong Police Commissioner to Ensure Transparency


The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned that Hong Kong’s police failed to

properly release information regarding a number of attacks in Hong Kong’s Tseung

Kwan O district and have breached the police department’s own commitments to



Four people were

physically attacked in separate incidents in Tseung Kwan O over a twelve-hour

period on October 2 and 3. However, police did not release official information

to the media about the incidents until after reports of the attacks emerged in Hong Kong newspapers almost a week later, on October 9.


Delays in the release of

police information have previously been identified by IFJ affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) as an issue

of concern. In their 2009/2010

Annual Report, the HKJA identified a number of cases of police withholding

information about criminal cases. Similarly, on February 13, Hong Kong police

only confirmed the burglary of a watch store after a report of the crime had

already been published in various Hong Kong

newspapers. In this case police withheld all information regarding the crime

for over a week without explanation.


In refusing to promptly

release information of the attacks, the Hong Kong

police have failed to honour their promise, made when their communication

systems were upgraded from analogue to digital, to disclose information to the media

as soon as possible.


Under Hong

Kong’s Access to Information Code, the police department is one of

the government agencies that have a positive duty of public disclosure. Under

the Code, the department has an obligation to release information, unless it could

cause public harm or prejudice criminal proceedings.


“The media has a duty to

report cases in the public interest, and provide citizens with information

regarding the safety of their community,” the IFJ

Asia-Pacific said.


“It is important that

police not only investigate crime, but also provide the media and public with a

honest account of threats to their security.”


The IFJ urges Hong Kong Police

Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-Hung to ensure Hong Kong Police honour their commitment

to immediate public disclosure and fully investigate the failure to disclose

the Tseung Kwan O attacks.



For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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