Hong Kong: Police attack and detain journalists as protests resume

Over the last weekend, protests in Mong Kok returned alongside the erosion of Hong Kong’s free press as police harassed journalists. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) urge authorities to end the harassment of journalists and provide them with a safe platform to report on protests.

Riot police hold back journalists at the Mong Kok protest on May 10, 2020. Credit: ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP

According to HKJA there were multiple reports on May 10 of police pepper spraying, intimidating and disrupting journalists who were attempting to cover the protests. In particular, two student journalists with Student Depth Media aged 12 and 16 were detained by police while dispersing the Mong Kok protest. The two were taken to Tsim Sha Tsui police station, given a warning and released without formal charges.

While there has been a decline in the number of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong since the Covid-19 outbreak, demonstrations resumed over the last weekend in Mong Kok on May 10 as the central district returns to normalcy.

The HKJA deeply regret the police’s inaction and reluctance to investigate police violence against journalists.

IFJ said: “There is no adequate form of redress for Hong Kong police’s constant attacks against the media, much less the detainment of two young journalists. The IFJ condemns the incidents and urge police to ensure journalists can cover protests safely.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

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

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