Journalists' group calls for pepper spray probe

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 2011, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has called for an investigation into the alleged use of pepper spray on protestors after the July 1 march and the arrest of an intern television reporter during the overnight protest in Central.

In a letter to Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung, association chairwoman Mak Yin-ting expressed anger that at least 19 journalists were affected by the spray, adding that three were hit directly in the face and eyes. Two photojournalists were knocked to the ground, one of whom was taken to hospital. Some reporters were also blocked from entering a cordoned-off area.

Mak said the police should facilitate journalists' work and their actions infringed on press freedom.

The association also expressed dissatisfaction that an intern was detained for over 10 hours even after police had confirmed she worked for New Tang Dynasty Television.

A police spokesman said the force respected press freedom and reminded journalists to consider their personal safety when covering some radical protests.

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