Macau: Journalists denied entry to interview president

Journalists attempting to enter Macau to interview China’s president, Xi Jinping, were refused entry at border checkpoints. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) condemn the direct intervention by authorities to prevent journalists from reporting in Macau.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge Credit: Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Over the last week, more than three reporters sought entry into Macau from public security checkpoints on east artificial island, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge and the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry terminal and were denied entry. These heightened restrictions co-incide with the 20 year anniversary of Macau becoming a Special Administrative Region.

A reporter and photographer from Now News, Jack Tsang, sought to enter through Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge on December 15. Tsang, was stopped at the security checkpoint on eastern artificial island, searched, interrogated and sent back to Hong Kong without reason.

Other reporters from local newspapers were stopped when crossing the Macau border through Hong Kong-Zhuhai Macau bridge on December 15 according to HKJA. Guards refused them entry, citing the Internal Security Framework Act.

On December 17, Phila Si, a reporter from South China Morning Post(SCMP) faced similar treatment at Macao Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal where he was questioned and held for three hours. The authorities claimed Phila, a senior journalist from SCMP, posed a security threat and would “jeopardise the public safety and public order”.

HKJA said they urge “the mainland and Macau authorities to refrain from restrictions on the right of journalists to enter and exit the right of the press.”

The IFJ said: “The restrictions on journalists ability to report and freedom of movement remains a key barrier to establishing freedom of information in Macau, Hong Kong and China. We urge authorities to reconsider and lift the temporary ban on journaliststo Macau.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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