Hong Kong: Police continue to obstruct journalists in Hong Kong from reporting

Hong Kong journalists hit with blue dye filled water cannons, and verbal abuse from police in two separate incidents. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA) strongly condemn the ongoing abuse of media by members of Hong Kong’s police force and continue calls for a review into excessive force being used against journalists.

Water cannon truck spraying blue dye Credit: AFP

On October 20, violence directed toward journalists by police escalated. HKJA received reports of a water cannon truck filled with blue dye being deployed to drive away protestors and journalists in Kowloon. Police targeted journalists by spraying blue dye on them and throwing tear gas at reporters. In Mong Kok, several reporters received verbal abuse from police officers while reporting. The intimidation tactics used by police escalated in Mong Kok with multiple instances of riot police pushing reporters and pointing guns at them.

These actions obstruct media workers from doing their job and continue to put their personal safety in jeopardy. Despite this, the HKJA said most journalists continue to wear protective equipment and escaped injury in the events this week. According to the IFJ’s media violations log on the Hong Kong protests, there have now been over 45 attacks on journalists in Hong Kong.

The HKJA said it vehemently condemned Hong Kong’s police for “ignoring freedom of reporting and freedom of the press when they repeatedly used unnecessary force” against journalists.

“We reiterate that freedom of expression and press freedom are an important cornerstone of Hong Kong. Truth-finding is the sacred duty of reporters. We cannot take abuses of the use of force by the police as normal. We urge the Government to immediately correct their mistakes,” it said in its statement this week.

The IFJ said: “Despite numerous statements and complaints to the Hong Kong government by the IFJ and our affiliates, the aggressive behaviours of police to media continues. We will continue to shine a light on these incidents and strongly condemning the outright intentional violence and harassment by Hong Kong’s police, which is clearly done to obstruct the vital work of journalists covering the important events in Hong Kong.”

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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