HK police make ‘displeasure’ over journalists’ behaviour known in formal complaint to city’s media organisations

09-Nov-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Police have made a formal complaint over the actions of some Hong Kong reporters during a press conference earlier this week.

Journalists from six different organisations protested during the event inside police headquarters in Wan Chai on Monday, accusing officers of violence and telling lies. Thursday’s complaint elicited a strong response from the city’s main journalist association.

In letters to the six media outlets concerned RTHK, Ming Pao, Stand News, AM730, Initium and Inmedia Chief Superintendent John Tse Chun-chung, writing on behalf of the police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung, said police headquarters was not a site for a protest, and any grievance about police actions should be directed to the Complaints Against Police Office.

“Police expressed deep regret over how the concerned reporter [from your company] prejudiced the rights of reporting of other professional journalists, and the opportunity for the public to receive important information from police. Now I’m writing to your company to express our displeasure, ” the chief superintendent wrote in the letters.

On Monday, the six reporters sat in a row in the middle of the briefing room with helmets plastered with the words “investigate police violence, stop police lies”. Police called off the press conference and said the journalists’ actions were “disrespectful”.

During the ongoing anti-government protests, regular briefings have been held on Mondays and Fridays so the force can answer the media’s questions.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association hit back on Thursday, and said the reporters’ silent protest had been the most peaceful way for them to express their concerns over how journalists were being targeted and obstructed by police while covering the protests.

“Police management has turned a blind eye to the power abuse and wanton arrests by frontline officers,” the association said in a statement.

“They were unresponsive to multiple requests for a meeting by the industry. The communication channel disappeared, and there was no choice but to initiate the silent protest.”

The association also rejected Tse’s suggestion that journalists could file complaints to the CAPO, and pointed out that was difficult because officers have refused to carry their warrant cards or badge numbers, and often have their faces covered during violent clashes with protesters.


Category: Hong Kong

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