HONG KONG: A Small City That the Police Look to Make Smaller

Hong Kong- IFJ has criticized Hong Kong’s tactics as a crime against freedom of press

The Hong Kong government has been aggressively encouraged to end limitations of press freedom by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).  According to a recent press release of the IFJ, Andy Tsang, Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong, is accused of discriminating against many media outlets on the alleged grounds of public order. The net effect is to restrict the country’s freedom of press.

Hong Kong police have regulated certain reporting areas as media zones, including the area near the Chinese Liaison Office in China for upcoming coverage of the memorial of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.  For this zone in particular, police have limited journalist access to this media zone to four chosen media outlets. They are claiming lack of space.

But, according to IFJ, journalists have been unjustly arrested and harassed by the police throughout the past year for reporting on public events.  Sit Ka-Kiet, a cameraman for Now Television, was specifically prohibited from filming the visit of Li Keqiang, the Chinese Vice Pemier, to Laguna City, Kowloon, Hong Kong last August, 2011.  Poon Ching-Ki, was similarly arrested while attempting to photograph a public demonstration in March.

The office of IFJ Asia-Pacific has responded that the police have “increased discrimination against media outlets and impeded the media’s ability to do its job of reporting the news.” IFJ clearly views making the media zones a crime — in fact — against press freedom.


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