Hong Kong: Journalists violently harassed during weekend protests

As protests broke out across Hong Kong again over the weekend, journalists and media workers were targeted and harassed. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) condemned the attacks and demanded immediate action from the Hong Kong authorities.

A bystander films policemen pointing guns at protesters in Tseun Wan in Hong Kong on August 25, 2019, in the latest opposition to a planned extradition law that has since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights in the semi-autonomous city. Credit: Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP

According to HKJA statement on August 24 there were several incidents involving the media across the city. A group of people claiming to belong to a pro-China group called ‘Politik Social Strategic’ surrounded the RTHK (government owned radio/TV channel) building. In a separate incident, journalists were covering protests, when protesters tried to cover cameras with towels, took photos of the journalists and yelled at them, saying ‘unscrupulous journalists’. Some protesters also threatened to punch the journalists. One journalist from Now TV was yelled at and kicked, while another reporter from Oriental Daily was surrounded. The Oriental Daily reported that one protester tried to bite a camera, and a journalist’s eye was injured when she was pushed by a protester.

The latest incidents are part of the wider trend in Hong Kong with the media facing ongoing attacks, threats and harassment as protests have engulfed Hong Kong for the past three months. According to monitoring by the IFJ and HKJA, there have been at least 27 media violations since June.

The IFJ said: “We reiterate our earlier calls to end the ongoing attacks against the media in Hong Kong. Respecting the role of the media to report from the protests is important and should be guaranteed by the government. We continue to stand in solidarity with HKJA and our Hong Kong colleagues.”

To report any media violations: [email protected]

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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