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Hong Kong Protests: Experts offer guide to the evolution of weaponry and tactics

The physical and legal risks for journalists covering the increasingly violent Hong Kong protests were outlined by two experts at the FCC on October 23.

Sharron Fast, Deputy Director of Master of Journalism Programme and lecturer at University of Hong Kong, discussed the anti-mask law introduced by the HKSAR using emergency powers on October 5. She said there was much uncertainty surrounding the ban, particularly for journalists lawfully covering an unlawful protest. She also said she was certain the law doesn’t protect freelance journalists and students.

Fast was joined at the breakfast briefing by Stevo Stephen, News Risk Senior Manager for the Wall Street Journal, who demonstrated the evolution of weapons and tactics by both the Hong Kong Police and protesters since the unrest began in June.

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Essential tips for Hong Kong journalists reporting suicide and mental health issues

The media’s role and its responsibilities in reporting suicide and mental health issues were outlined in a workshop for journalists, part of an FCC series focused on the Hong Kong protests.

Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at HKU, gives reporting tips to journalists. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at HKU, gives reporting tips to journalists. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Following rumours and speculation about a number of suicides that were directly linked by some Hong Kong media to the ongoing protests in the city–and giving details of how they were carried out–Professor Paul Yip, Director of the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Hong Kong, issued advice to journalists covering the topic at a breakfast briefing on August 27.

Prof Yip encouraged media professionals to provide more information around suicide prevention to help raise awareness of the support available to those experiencing mental health issues. He also advised journalists covering the Hong Kong protests to take rest for the sake of their own physical and mental health.

An audience member and representative of the Hong Kong Samaritans revealed that the nature of calls to the organisation’s hotline had recently changed, with many callers worried about the protests.

You can download the Centre of Suicide Research and Prevention’s recommendations on suicide and mental health reporting here.

The Hong Kong Samaritans website can be found here, and the 24/7 hotline number is 2896 0000.

Watch the breakfast briefing

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. 

Heated debate over proposed Hong Kong extradition agreement with China

A proposed controversial extradition agreement between Hong Kong and China was the topic of lively debate when prominent lawyers with opposing views on the move discussed it at the FCC.

Dennis Kwok. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Dennis Kwok. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

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Days after an estimated 150,000 marched through Hong Kong in protest at the proposal, Ronny Tong, a non-official member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong, joined Legislative Council member Dennis Kwok to discuss whether the move was a knee-jerk reaction to the recent case of a Hong Kong citizen suspected of committing murder in Taiwan or a way in which China can legally abduct people from the city. Both men are co-founders of the Civic Party.

Ronny Tong. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Ronny Tong. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Tong argued that the amendment would respect the human rights of those taken to the mainland under the agreement, and that extradition decisions would be taken having been considered by Hong Kong’s respected judiciary. He added that political crimes would be exempt from the agreement. Kwok, however, said he feared that once Article 23 was enacted, such crimes would fall under the agreement.

Watch the full May 2 debate here.

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