Journalist groups in the city have slammed Hunan authorities for detaining two Hong Kong reporters who interviewed the family of late mainland dissident Li Wangyang .
Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung said that the government would maintain close communication with mainland authorities on the matter.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists condemned the Hunan provincial authorities and city officials in Shaoyang , where police held the reporters for 44 hours last week.
The association sent a letter to senior figures including Peng Qinghua , director of the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong, former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa and current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
Two Ming Pao Daily reporters interviewed Li's younger sister, Li Wangling , and her husband, Zhao Baozhu , in Shaoyang on September 5.
The newspaper, which published the interview on Wednesday, said the couple rejected the Hunan authorities' claim that they had been involved in the death investigation and had signed an autopsy report agreeing to the official verdict of suicide on Li's death.
Ming Pao also claimed its reporters were detained for 44 hours and then forced to redo the interview under surveillance.