On Saturday, November 2, the office of the Xinhua news agency, China’sstate-run media outlet, was attacked. According to Radio Television Hong Kong, the lobby of the building was on fire, and the windows and glass doors were shattered. The walls were sprayed with the words “deport the communist thieves”.
Violence continued on Sunday, November 3 when riot police stormed a shopping mall to disperse protestors. Despite journalists being far away from the protestors, police confronted journalists with pepper spray. Two journalists were arrested.The IFJ is looking into the reports on the arrests and will comment when more information is available.
Following the weekend of violence and carnage, Chinese state media has urged authorities to take a “tougher line” on anti-government protests to restore order.
HKJA condemns any acts of violence and sabotage against the media and has called on the public to take the initiative to stop these attacks. HKJA has urged Hong Kong authorities to launch an investigation.
The IFJ said: “The continued attacks on the media in Hong Kong portrays the shattering reality of the consequences of continued attacks on democracy and the free press. The answer is not to have a “tougher line” on democratic protests. Authorities have taken every opportunity to suppress the media. Freedom of expression and dissent must be protected. We repeat our previous comments in other statements urging the Hong Kong government to ensure the safety of journalists.”