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FCC statement expressing grave concern over reports of police violence against journalists in Hong Kong

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club expresses grave concern over multiple eyewitness reports and widely circulating video footage that show police officers engaging in violent acts against journalists during the protest in Kwai Chung on Tuesday night.
 
The reports and video appear to show a photojournalist being shoved to the ground, reporters being chased by police officers swinging batons and police discharging pepper spray toward reporters and photographers with press identification who were observing and photographing events from a safe distance and who appeared not to be interfering with police operations. At least one journalist reportedly needed hospital treatment after being hit with pepper spray.
 
These actions by members of the Hong Kong Police Force are unacceptable and constitute a violation of the right under Hong Kong law for journalists to cover protests free of intimidation or violence by authorities.
 
The repeated and consistent reports of police violence against journalists covering the protests have become too many for the Hong Kong government to ignore. Given this deteriorating situation, the FCC reiterates its demand that the government follow the advice of numerous prominent Hong Kong organizations, along with civic and political leaders, and establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate all forms of violence and intimidation directed at journalists since the start of the protests in June. We urge that such investigations be thorough and transparent.
 
The FCC also calls on the Commissioner of Police to publicly address these worrying reports and to clearly state that the HKPF respects freedom of the press and the right of journalists to cover events, including police operations, unfettered and free of violence and threats.
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club stands with the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong Photojournalist Association and with freelance and unaffiliated journalists in condemning acts of violence directed at the media and in demanding the Hong Kong government and police respect Hong Kong’s long tradition of press freedom.

RSF open letter to Carrie Lam

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published an open letter to Chief Executive Carrie Lam calling on her to take “immediate and proactive action” to protect press freedom in Hong Kong. Here is the full text:

Security expert Stevo Stephen briefs journalists on how to stay safe covering protests

More than 100 Hong Kong journalists and Hong Kong Journalists Association members attended a talk on how to cover protests safely following a weekend of demonstrations in the city that saw violence break out, resulting in the injuries of dozens of people, among them reporters.

Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC

In the first of a series of FCC workshops focused on the protests in Hong Kong, security expert Stevo Stephen gave a briefing on the safest and most effective ways of covering demonstrations and street violence.

Stephen, APAC and Africa News Risk Senior Manager for the Wall Street Journal, demonstrated the best equipment to use when covering protests, including protective wear. The former private security expert, who has a background with the British Commandos, shared his knowledge on how journalists can interact with the police and demonstrators, particularly when violence breaks out.

Future FCC workshops will include sessions on the use of technology in covering the protests and the kinds of legal risks media face. With the launch of the workshops, the FCC is furthering its goal of promoting press freedom in Hong Kong by acting as a forum for education and discussion.

Watch the video

 

Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC
Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC

Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC Stevo Stephen at the FCC. Photo: FCC

FCC members hold silent protest in wake of violent attacks against journalists in Hong Kong

Members of the FCC held banners declaring ‘Yes to press freedom, no to violence against journalists’ as they staged a silent protest outside the club on July 23. 

The protest was organised after a weekend of anti and pro-government demonstrations that saw violence break out at Yuen Long station, resulting in injuries to dozens of people, including journalists.

Club President Jodi Schneider said: “We held the silent protest for press freedom at the FCC today to make it abundantly clear that we condemn the violence we saw in Hong Kong over the weekend and we want to express solidarity with journalists who were injured. Our message, written on posters in both Chinese and English, is simple and clear: Yes to press freedom, no to violence against journalists.”

She added: “We also are renewing our call for an independent investigation into any violence or intimidation by authorities of journalists since the protests began in June. Hong Kong law allows journalists to cover demonstrations free of intimidation or violence by the police.”

FCC statement condemning violence in Hong Kong including against journalists

 

FCC statement condemning violence in Hong Kong including against journalists

FCC statement condemning violence in Hong Kong including against journalists
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong strongly condemns the latest violence that injured dozens of people, including journalists, and in particular the sickening scenes of mob violence at Yuen Long.
 
The club expresses solidarity with the journalists who were injured. It calls on the Hong Kong police and authorities to urgently find and bring to justice those who carried out the unprecedented mob attack.

Members will hold a silent protest outside the FCC on Tuesday, July 23, at 9:30 a.m. under the banner “Yes to press freedom, no to violence against journalists.”

Also, FCC board members will be meeting with the Hong Kong Journalists Association to discuss future steps to defend media freedom in Hong Kong.
 
The FCC expresses its unequivocal support for the right under Hong Kong law of the Hong Kong people to hold peaceful protests and for the right of journalists to cover such demonstrations free of intimidation or violence by authorities.
 
The FCC renews its call for an independent investigation of all forms of violence and intimidation directed at journalists by police since the start of the protests in June and urges that such investigations be thorough and transparent.

FCC statement on July 14 silent protest march in defence of press freedom

Several Hong Kong organisations including the Hong Kong Journalists Association are organising a silent protest march this Sunday, July 14, starting at 10.30am from Harcourt Garden to the Office of the Chief Executive, in defence of press freedom in covering the Hong Kong protests free of violence. The organisers welcome working or former journalists, journalism teaching staff and students and campus news teams to join them.
 
HKJA Facebook post
 
As this silent protest occurs, the FCC reiterates its call for Hong Kong authorities to allow unfettered press access to those covering the demonstrations and urges an independent investigation of allegations made by journalists and other witnesses of the use of force by police.
 

Hong Kong protests: Panel discusses next move for anti-extradition bill campaign

The manner in which protesters have demonstrated again the proposed Hong Kong extradition bill, and their next move, was discussed by a panel of experts at the club on July 10. 

Author and lawyer Antony Dapiran, reporter Mary Hui, and leader of the Civic Human Rights Front, Bonnie Leing Wing-Man, all gave their views on the ongoing political unrest in the city. 

Watch the video here. 

Changes to FCC Operations on October 5-7, 2019

FCC announces recipients of inaugural Clare Hollingworth Fellowship

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club has chosen Mary Hui and Jessie Pang as recipients of the inaugural Clare Hollingworth Fellowship, named in honour of the preeminent and path-breaking journalist.

Mary Hui, left, and Jessie Pang. Mary Hui, left, and Jessie Pang.

The adjudicators noted the winners offer clear potential as future leaders both within the FCC and the wider Hong Kong journalism community.

“In its first year, we were pleased and gratified by the level of talent and potential of the applicants for the fellowship,” said Jodi Schneider, president of the FCC. “Mary and Jessie both exemplify the qualities we were seeking in Fellows.”

The Fellowship is aimed at early career journalists and current journalism school students in Hong Kong.

The open competition drew significant interest from a cross spectrum of applicants. The adjudicators noted the high standard of applicants and encouraged all to apply again next year.

“The fellowship is a key part of the FCC’s outreach efforts aimed at diversifying the membership base and bringing younger talent into the club,” Schneider said.

WINNERS

Mary Hui
Mary Hui is a correspondent with Quartz covering Asia business and geopolitics. She was previously a freelancer for publications including the New York Times and Washington Post.

Jessie Pang 
Jessie Pang is a recent graduate of Hong Kong University’s journalism program and is joining Reuters after an internship. Her previous freelance work appeared in publications including the Atlantic and HK01.

Further information on the Fellowship can be seen here: https://www.fcchk.org/clarehollingworth/

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