CHINA: JOURNALISTS PROTEST SAVAGE ATTACKS ON COLLEAGUES
A number of journalists from Hong Kong are among those who have been brutally assaulted and harassed in mainland China in the last two weeks as authorities continue to control independent coverage of ethnic violence as well as local crime, report the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
Three accredited Hong Kong TV journalists covering protests in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, on 4 September were "kicked, punched, shoved to the ground, handcuffed by police and detained for about three hours" reports HKJA. TVB reporter Lam Tsz-ho, his cameraman Lau Wing-chuen, and Now TV cameraman Lam Chun-wai were trying to get away from tear gas and were forced to remain lying on the ground, their hands tied for 20 minutes, says RSF. Tsz-Ho told RSF the police beat them with batons and confiscated the video they had recorded.
Five other Hong Kong reporters were briefly arrested in
News reports say thousands of Han Chinese took to the streets in early September in the city of
Meanwhile, hundreds of journalists protested in Hong Kong on 13 September, over the brutality faced by colleagues in
Mak Yin-ting, chairwoman of HKJA, told "Agence France-Presse" (AFP) that media workers were angry over the "outrageous and blatantly false" allegations against the journalists.
"This is a violent trampling on press freedom," she told AFP."It is not a single incident. Even last year, lots of our journalists were beaten while reporting in
Meanwhile, two Beijing-based reporters employed by Hong Kong media outlets were detained in a hotel in
"The authorities will be hard put to rein in the disturbing rise in cases of violence against the press unless those responsible are dealt with in a firm but proportionate manner," RSF said. "The climate of social and ethnic tension in Xinjiang and the rest of the country do not justify such attacks, which seem to be acts of censorship, targeting investigative journalists above all. The excuses of the local authorities are clearly not sufficient."
Related stories on IFEX.org: - Journalists physically attacked, harassed in Xinjiang and Guangdong provinces:
More on the web: - HK journalists protest against beatings of reporters (AFP):
- Our Declaration for the Protest march on Liaison Office on 13 Sept 2009