The Hong Kong Press Photographer Associate (HKPPA) condemns the violent actions by protesters targeted against multiple reporters and photojournalists during the news coverage of the riot in Mong Kok earlier today (Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016).
During the early hours of the morning, multiple accounts of journalists sustaining injuries and attacks have been reported, including but not limited:
1) a TVB News cameraman was threatened to cease filming by attempting to throw broken glass at him when he was covering rioters setting fire and creating roadblocks; and
2) a Cable News Hong Kong cameraman sustained head injuries from a brick; and
3) a Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) reporter was attacked by protesters using a brick when covering the incident, and the voice recording equipment was damaged as a result.
4) a Ming Pao reporter was allegedly assulted by police officers after identifying himself as a member of the media
HKPPA express our deepest sympathies on the injuries sustained by our fellow colleagues and we hope for their speedy recovery.
HKPPA respects and believes that freedom of expression, speech and assembly is a core part of Hong Kong. Different viewpoints should be respected. We believe ideologies and opinions should be expressed rationally instead of through violence. We ask our fellow colleagues to pay close attention to the situation and emotions of protesters when covering similar events in the future, carry appropriate equipment and seek help or support from appropriate authorities.
Hong Kong Press Photographer Association
On Tuesday evening, 25 November 2014, an engineer of NOW TV news, Li Siu-lung, was subdued by police officers for allegedly assaulting a police officer while he was carrying out reporting duties with colleagues in Mong Kok. He suffered multiple injuries to his head and body during the process. After more than 24 hours of detention, Mr Li was released unconditionally, but the police have stressed it retains the right to prosecute in the future.
Since the Occupy Movement started, some police officers have been antagonizing the media. Despite repeated dialogue between various media organizations and senior police management, the situation has not improved. It has, in fact, worsened with the recent arrests and assaults on reporters. These arrests and assaults are a suppression of a free press. Yesterday, police arrested a cameraman of Apple Daily for allegedly assaulting a police officer. We believe that there will be more confrontations between the police and the public in the near future, and journalists will face even greater threats. We can no longer look on and do nothing.