LAUREN CHEN WRITES – After being told it was not only rude, but a security threat to shout questions at a recent economic summit, Hong Kong journalists in Bali, Indonesia refused to keep quiet and had their credentials yanked.

According to ABC News, the reporters from Now TV, Radio Television Hong Kong and Commercial Radio were attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. APEC expelled reporters for questioning Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to see if he would apologize for the hostage crisis in Manila in 2010, during which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed in a botched police rescue. Aquino allegedly ignored the questions and the Washington Post reported that Now TV showed an APEC staff member accusing the reporters of ambushing one of the visitors (Aquino).

Shocked, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) expressed its outrage in a letter to President Aquino. To their dismay, the journalists were “placed on the same level as explosives and other fatal vice.” The HKJA now requests an apology from the Philippines and Indonesian authorities.

Further, in a statement, HKJA expressed its disappointment in Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying who failed to express any public concern on the mater. The association has sent a letter to President Xi Jinping, requesting him to seek justice for the reporters.

After the incident, Hong Kong journalists protested in Indonesia to defend the democratic freedom of reporters and media. It is now necessary for the government to chip in and help maintain Hong Kong’s press freedom and the flow of information.