International Federation of Journalists supports its affiliate the Hong Kong
Journalists Association (HKJA), and other local media organisations, in its
protests in support of a photo-journalist
charged with common assault, which they claim arose from circumstance
related to the restrictions placed on the media in Hong Kong.
Kai-Chung, a former photographer with Apple Daily, was charged with common
assault for allegedly pushing a security guard to the ground outside the
Government Headquarters in Hong Kong on January 9.
Restrictive regulations have been prevented media from reporting
outside the Government Headquarters. Sing Kai-Chung,
who appeared in Eastern Court on September 27, was reportedly trying
to take photographs of the then Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-Yeung,
at the time of the alleged incident.
refuse to admit the charge. I would like to put forward all the facts in front
of the court and seek justice. Let the court to decide whether media has the
right to report”, Sing told the IFJ.
have worked in this industry for 20 years. I have experienced the shrinking of press
freedom in Hong Kong. In addition to that, we often receive hostility from the
security guards when we are trying to exercise our duty in front of the
Government Headquarter Building” he added.
Sing was released on bail and the case was adjourned
until October 11.
HKJA, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and other media organisations also
voiced their concerns and denounced the restrictive arrangements for media
outside the Government Headquarter Building.
Approximately 80 journalists and members of organisations
wearing black t-shirts protested outside the court in support of Mr Sing and
against the restrictions on September 27.
demanded an apology from the government for placing restrictive coverage orders
on the media, preventing proper coverage at Government Headquarters, which they
say resulted in the assault case and violates Article 27, Chapter 3, of the Hong
Kong constitution’s Basic Law, which is intended to uphold press freedom.
The HKJA is demanding that the Hong Kong Government
lift all the restrictions against media from outside the Government Headquarter
IFJ has reported on the deterioration of press freedom in Hong Kongin
“An unfettered press is one of
the cornerstones of any democracy, and the media must be able to perform their
duty to report in the public interest” the IFJ Asia-Pacific office said.
“Attempts to restrict the media’s
ability to report should not be tolerated.”
urge the Judiciary Department of Hong Kong to ensure a fair and impartial trial for Mr Sing is conducted, when the
case is before the courts in October.
We also call on the Chief Executive of Hong Kong to lift
restrictions on media from reporting outside the Government Headquarter
Building, in line with the Basic Law which protects press freedom.
further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0918
IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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