Hong Kong journalists faced 'unprecedented' assaults

2015-07-12 14:21
 (Isaac Lawrence, AFP)

(Isaac Lawrence, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hong Kong - Hong Kong's journalists faced an "unprecedented" number of assaults last year as political tensions surged during a massive pro-democracy movement in the city, a press freedom watchdog said on Sunday.

A ruling by Beijing restricting how Hong Kong choose its next leader sent discontent surging in the southern Chinese city last year, sparking mass street rallies for more than two months.

More than 30 journalists were harassed or physically assaulted by either protesters or police during the demonstrations, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said in its annual report on press freedom in the city.

"It was a range of assaults from getting hit by water bottles to being punched and kicked. Some have got their cameras pushed down and dragged onto the floor," the independent watchdog's vice chairwoman Shirley Yam told AFP.

"In terms of physical assaults it was definitely a record [year]."

China ruled last summer that the public could vote for Hong Kong's chief executive for the first time in 2017, but the move has been derided as "fake democracy" by the opposition as candidates must first be vetted by a pro-Beijing committee.

The bill enshrining that measure was voted down by pro-democracy lawmakers in Hong Kong's legislature last month.

Hong Kong was a British colony until it was handed back to China in 1997 and is ruled under a "one country, two systems" deal that allows it far greater civil liberties than those enjoyed on the Chinese mainland, including freedom of speech and the right to protest.

But there are fears that these liberties are fading with greater influence from Beijing.

Amnesty International said in November that Hong Kong police had used "unjustifiable force against protesters, bystanders and journalists" when authorities cleared another campaign site in Mongkok, which was also the scene of some of the most violent clashes of last year's rallies.

Yam said few perpetrators were held accountable.

"There were cases that occurred during chaotic situations, and it has been difficult to get the people responsible to face the music," she said.

Read more on:    hong kong  |  media

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.