Press freedom groups in Hong Kong, including Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Monday condemned the region’s harassment of journalists.
In a statement issued Monday, HKJA expressed its concern for a female Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) journalist who was tailed by two men as she left her home to go to work last Wednesday morning. The men were reportedly wearing earpieces. Although the reporter changed trains to avoid them, the two men followed her for more than an hour, and one reportedly followed her all the way to her workplace. HKJA stated it was “deeply concerned about the incident” and condemned the harassment and said it ” “will not tolerate any threat or coercion against the media and journalists.”
In response to the inciden, HKJA stated it investigate whether the men involved were law enforcement officers. If not, the association urged the police to investigate the occurrence and “bring suspicious persons to justice as soon as possible” to ensure the personal safety of Hong Kong journalists.
Reporters Without Borders also condemned the harassment. East Asia Bureau Director Cedric Alvani spoke to HKFP, stating that “journalists should at all times be able to work freely and without fear of harassment.” Under Article 27 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the people of Hong Kong can exercise freedom of speech, press and publication. However, Alvani argued that Hong Kong is no longer a “bastion of press freedom” and highlighted that it has dropped to 148th place in the 2022 RSF World Press Freedom Index.