Hong Kong: Over 50 organisations call on government to guarantee media freedom

The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) and Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), together with over 50 journalist unions and leading freedom of expression organisations around the world, have today written to the Hong Kong government, urging it to give stronger assurances that press freedom is protected in Hong Kong. The letter also urged Hong Kong’s Government under Carrie Lam to ensure the personal safety of journalists, and establish an independent committee for investigation.

Hong Kong media dressed in safety gear at a press conference with authorities, a silent protest against the attacks and harassment they were facing. Credit: AFPTV

The IFJ and HKJA has recorded a large number of violations to press freedom since the breakout of protests in June, and observed that assaults of journalists are becoming more serious.  The violations were mostly perpetrated by police.  The co-signing organisations expressed serious concern about the failure of Hong Kong Government to ensure the safety of journalists during the protests.

“The recent spike in incidents in Hong Kong is evidence of a clear problem with a spike in attacks recorded. We condemn violence initiated by the authorities (particularly the police) on journalists, as well as the ongoing failure by those in power to ensure the safety of Hong Kong journalists and citizens at this critical time. These cases have seriously undermined press freedom in Hong Kong and continue to send a disturbing message to the rest of the world about the parlous state of democracy and media freedom.”

“Journalists play an integral role in any democratic society. Attacks against them must be taken very seriously and their attackers reprimanded, to ensure that press freedom and free speech cannot be silenced by a culture of impunity.”

The growing body of journalist organisations and press freedom groups urges the Hong Kong government to establish an independent committee, to investigate these incidents and establish meaningful action and response to protecting press freedom and the safety of journalists.

Read the letter here

See the list of signatories here

See IFJ and HKJA monitoring log here: English / Chinese

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on 
+61 2 9333 0918

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

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