Media worker followed after release from police detention in Hong Kong

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses serious concern for the welfare and safety of a Hong Kong media worker, after he was followed in Hong Kong, following his release from police custody. The IFJ demands the Hong Kong government and police immediate investigate the incident.

On June 16, Lam Wing Kee gave an interview detailing his detainment by the Central Task Force in Mainland China, after he was detained in October 2015. Lam was one of the five Hong Kong Causeway Bay bookstore employees who disappeared in the second half of 2015, after each was detained by Chinese authorities. During his interview, Lam said that he was regularly interrogated by officers from the Task Force, each time he was asked for the identifies of customers who purchased banned books. He was also regularly questioned about his cooperation with Gui Minhai, another employee from the bookstore who was detained.

On June 30, Lam made a statement to the Hong Kong Police, during which he disclosed that he had been followed by unidentified people for the last two days. Lam said he decided to withdraw from a public event and leading a protest on July 1, because he felt uncertain after he was followed.

In a press release, the Hong Kong Police said that they were investigating the case, but did not have any evidence to suggest that Lam’s personal safety was under threat. As such, police are yet to provide any personal protection to Lam, instead offered him precautionary safety advice.

James To, Lam’s legal representative and a pro-democracy lawyer, told the IFJ that Lam is staying in a safe place, but refused to make any further comments due to the ongoing police investigation. To said: “Being a lawmaker of Hong Kong, I believe Hong Kong police need to provide adequate personal protection for Lam while Lam’s personal safety is at risk.”

The IFJ Asia Pacific Office said: “We demand immediate protection from the Hong Kong Police Department for Lam as they continue their investigation. When a citizen feels at risk, regardless of their situation, they should be guaranteed protection from the police.”

The IFJ calls on all Hong Kong authorities to urge the Hong Kong Police Department to give a detailed report of the investigation and provide adequate personal security to Lam Wing Kee.

We also urge Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung, Chun Ying and Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of Hong Kong to demand Stephen Lo Wai Chung, Hong Kong Police Commissioner to remain transparent and report investigation findings to the public.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

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

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

Find the IFJ on Facebook: