Hong Kong journalists denied entry to Macau after deadly storm

Local residents move pieces of damaged furniture onto a street in the aftermath of Typhoon Hato in Macau on August 26, 2017. Credit: Dale De La Rey/AFP

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) is strongly criticising the Macau Government to denying entry to four Hong Kong-based journalists on August 26, 2017. The IFJ calls for an immediate investigation into the incident.On Saturday, August 26, four journalists and a photographer from Apple Daily, HK01 and the South China Morning Post was denied entry to Macau in four separate incidents. Immigration officials in Macau said that they “might have posed a threat to internal security”. The three media outlets immediately expressed concerns over the incident and criticised the Macau Government.The media workers had all travelled to Macau following Typhoon Hato which hit Macau and Hong Kong on August 23.The HKJA, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA), the Macau Portuguese and English Press Association (AIPIM) and the Journalists Association of Macau each issued statements criticising the Government of Macau for the incident. They all reiterated that the journalists were carrying out their jobs and had followed proper procedures in entering Macau. HKJA and HKPPA said “they were not trouble makers. It was unreasonable for the Macau authorities to say they posed a threat to internal security.”On August 27, Ma Lo-Kun, the commissioner of the Public Security Police in Macau claimed the ban was in accordance with the law. However he not provide any further explanation. Wong Sio-Chak, the security for security also defended the move with the reason that “other regions had also banned entry and that Macau was not an exception”.A senior photographer for Apple Daily told the IFJ that “we have been repeatedly receiving this kind of unfair treatment for years. We do not when and who are going to be targeted. We are very annoyed and frustrated.”The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “In times of natural disaster, the media plays a particular important role is sharing information to the public, keeping them informed and up-to-date. The latest move by the Government of Macau to deny entry to Hong Kong journalists is a cause for serious concern. The media can provide vital support and assistance to authorities in times such as these, and so they should be working together to help the people of Macau.”We urge Fernando Chui Sai-On, the chief executive of Macau to investigate the incident and provide an explanation as to why the journalists were denied entry.

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