At around 2:45am, four men wearing masks forced their way into the Citizens' Radio’soffice and smashed its door, windows and broadcasting equipment. Despite the loss of equipment in the attack, the station was still able to cover the July 1 protest which was held to coincide with the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China. The proposed Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019, if passed, could result in Hong Kong residents as well as visitors being sent to Mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for trial.
The founder of Citizens’ Radio, Tsang Kin Shing, said he witnessed the men enter the office brandishing hammers and a baseball bat. The incident lasted for about two minutes while the damage has been estimated at around HKD 20,000-30,000 (US$2,560 to US$3,845).
Tsang has filed a report with police.
Citizens' Radio is a not-for-profit broadcaster now affiliated with the League of Social Democrats, a pro-democracy political party in Hong Kong. Tsang and others from Citizens' Radio have previously been persecuted and fined for alleged “illegal broadcasting” due to a license application that has been pending since 2005.
IFJ said: “Hong Kong must reaffirm its obligation to ensure press freedom in their city. The vandalism of Citizens’ Radio clearly shows the problem for Hong Kong’s media workers both in their right to report and the right to safety. The IFJ has called for urgent investigation into the matter and apprehension of the attackers.”