Hong Kong: Journalists attacked as protests erupt

Hundreds of masked assailants dressed in white assaulted residents, protesters, journalists and a lawmaker in Yuen Long, Hong Kong, hours after an anti-extradition bill march ended. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly condemns the violence towards the media, and again calls on the Hong Kong authorities to guarantee the safety and rights of the media covering the protests.

Police fire tear gas at protesters as the media watches on. Credit: Anthony Wallace/AFP

According to a statement issued by IFJ affiliate, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), two reporters were beaten and pushed to the ground, one of them left bleeding inform his mouth. Another reporter’s camera was thrown to the ground and damaged. At least one reporter went to hospital for medical treatment.  

A district councillor wrote in a Facebook post that he had received a complaint from a resident, who said he had called the police for help. However, he was told to “not go out into the streets” if he was afraid.

There were already rumours, before the rally, that some pro-police gang would “wait for” those joining the peaceful rally and wear black (official dress code of the rally) in Yuen Long.

The IFJ strongly condemn such violence, as well as police’s failure to protect the safety of journalists and citizens, “The work of journalists is important to freedom of expression. Violence against them is infringement to freedom of expression and press freedom. The government should take the responsibility, address the requests of people and start open communication with people properly. The continued inaction would just make things become worse, and not a proper way to protect rights and safety of people.”

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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