The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong welcomes the meeting on Thursday between local press associations and representatives of the Hong Kong Police Force, and hopes it improves working conditions on the ground for journalists.
The FCC had sent a letter to Commissioner of Police, Chris Tang Ping-keung, asking to be included in this meeting, whose participants included the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, the Hong Kong News Executives Association and the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists. The Hong Kong Police Force responded that it would prefer to meet with the FCC separately, given language differences and the unique concerns of foreign correspondents working in Hong Kong. The FCC has followed up with the Hong Kong Police Force on this offer and is working to arrange this meeting.
A delegation from the FCC Board of Governors met on Oct. 10 with representatives of the Hong Kong Police Force to discuss a number of issues of concern to our membership including police violence against journalists covering the protests last year, efforts to hinder journalists’ access to police actions on the ground and interference with press coverage of the unrest. The meeting was constructive and we agreed to continue to have a dialogue on this pressing issues.
Meanwhile, the FCC is in touch with local journalists’ organisations, and has held meetings to discuss how we can work together at this pivotal time for press freedom in Hong Kong. The FCC opposes any effort by the Hong Kong police or the Hong Kong government to establish a licensing or accreditation system for the media in Hong Kong as that would be what we consider a serious erosion of press freedoms guaranteed here. The FCC will follow up with the police and the press groups involved after their meeting to better understand the nature of the discussions.