Journalist driven away and insulted by police while covering a scene

In the morning of 2nd March, police chief Chris Tang Ping-keung held a press conference after paying a visit to the quarantine camp, Chun Yeung Estate. Tang responded to queries concerning the recurring abuse of power by police officers against journalists on the frontline, which includes arbitrarily stopping and searching journalists and even using force. He denied such accusation and explained that his colleagues were simply being extra cautious following alleged incidents of protesters hiding in the crowd of journalists and attacked police officers, which almost resulted in death. Despite his denial, a journalist from the local public broadcasting service RTHK was insulted and driven away by police officers when he was covering a scene in Mong Kok later in the afternoon.

The press conference took place at about 12:30pm. Yet only within an hour at 1pm, when a journalist from the Public Affairs Unit of RTHK was covering a scene in Mong Kok, he was insulted and driven away by police officers. 6 uniformed police officers can be seen at Nathan Road, Mong Kok, in the photos uploaded by that journalist to the RTHK Facebook page. Each officer had a blue card displaying his operational call sign on the right side of the tactical vest. Several civilians in black clothes were surrounded by the officers. The journalist stepped forward and wanted to film the scene. He told the police he was a journalist and the appearance of the person being inquired will be edited away. However, the police drove him off in response and scolded him, ‘Did you care for that person’s feeling? How would you feel if you were that person? Use your brain!’ Even after the journalist said that he would leave, the police kept insulting him.

Article 27 of the Basic Law:
Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.

Article 16 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance (Cap. 383)
(1)Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
(2)Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Order 39-05, Police General Orders:
All officers at the scene of an incident shall:-
(a) facilitate the work of the news media as much as possible and accord media representatives consideration and courtesy; and
(b) not block camera lenses.

Apple Daily

RTHK