Press freedom in Hong Kong

Press photographer acquitted of assault

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 5:19pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 6:44pm

A former Apple Daily photographer was acquitted of assaulting a security guard while working at government headquarters in Tamar, after a magistrate agreed that he tried to avoid the guard moving towards him.

Magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing said that the guard dashed towards photographer Gary Sing Kai-chung, 41, who was walking at normal pace.  he agreed that Sing had leaned forward – which later caused a collision – to avoid being pushed over by the guard.

Sing pleaded not guilty to assaulting security guard Yu Chau-pui on Friday at Eastern Court.

He had been trying to photograph former education minister Michael Suen Ming-yeung as he returned to work in January after being treated in hospital for legionnaires’ disease.

A scuffle broke out when security guards blocked him from taking photos. One guard was pushed to the ground his left palm was injured in the incident.

Outside the court on Friday members of the Journalists Association, the Press Photographers Association and the Next Union that represents Apple Daily staff accused the government of trying to suppress press freedom.

Li Ka-chung, chairman of the union, said: “The root of the incident is the poor press arrangements [made] by the Administrative Wing [at Central Government Headquarters].”