The log is a collaboration of monitoring by the IFJ and HKJA, following on from action calling on the Hong Kong government to ensure the safety and security of the media as they report from the protests. Through journalist testimony and reports, the IFJ and HKJA have recorded incidents of harassment, threats, intimidation and violence. On August 5, one journalist was hit in the head with a tear gas canister and required medical attention.
Hong Kong has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and has two pieces of legislation - the Bill of Rights Ordinance (Cap.383) and Basic Law Article 39, which guarantee freedom of expression in Hong Kong. However this log shows the ongoing violations of this Covenant and legislation.
The HKJA said: “Over weeks of continuous demonstrations and clashes since June, police officers were shown to have lost control over their emotions and targeted the press on various occasions. We have issued a number of statements demanding the police to respect press freedom and restrain officers from using hostile means against reporters. However, no improvement can be observed so far and the situation is only getting worse, which is worrisome.”
“We must stress that if the Chief Executive continues to turn a blind eye towards the police abuse of power, giving them free range to infringe upon press freedom, Hong Kong’s international standing will be severely damaged and that the rift that lies between the government and the press will become unamendable,” said HKJA.
The IFJ said: “The media in Hong Kong continues to work in a hostile environment to report on the ongoing situation. The fact that the authorities continue to use the term ‘obstruction of work to police’ for the reason as to why so many journalists have had their rights violated raises serious concerns about the respect of the media and their right to do their job safely. The media are simply there to report on the protests, yet they continue to face hostile and violent situations. The government must guarantee the free flow of information, which is supported by a free press.”
If you would like to report an incident, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org