Liu Xiaobo

TVB journalist denies blocking way

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 March, 2013, 5:15am

A journalist attacked outside the Beijing home of the wife of jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo has rejected a mainland police claim that he was causing an obstruction when the assault happened.

TVB, employer of cameraman Tam Wing-man, said Tam had been told while giving evidence at a police station on Thursday that the assault was his fault for blocking the way. The broadcaster said Tam was also asked if he knew the rules for reporting outside Hong Kong.

The person taking evidence refused to give Tam his name or job title, it said.

Tam was punched in the face, pushed to the ground and stamped on by five or six men while he was covering an attempt by Hong Kong activist Yang Kuang to visit Liu Xia on Friday last week.

Now TV cameraman Wong Kim-fai and Yang were also attacked. After the beatings, the men continued to push the group of Hong Kong journalists away and yell abuse at them.

A medical report showed that Tam had chest injuries and his forehead was swollen. His camera was also damaged. TVB said it was the third time Tam had given evidence at the Yangfangdian police station in Beijing. The first was on the night when he was attacked and the second on Monday.

He was told to describe what happened and was asked to provide the news footage of the attack. No reporters were allowed to accompany him to any of the interviews.

TVB assistant general manager Desmond Chan said the news department would monitor the development closely. "The news department has complained [to the mainland authorities] already. It's not just an attitude. Apart from being responsible to our colleagues, we hope to defend press freedom," he said.

The news department has complained ... Apart from being responsible to our colleagues, we hope to defend press freedom

Liu Xia was confined to her home shortly after her imprisoned husband, a writer, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress Michael Tien Puk-sun said earlier he was told by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing that an explanation would be given after an investigation.

The attackers were not wearing uniforms, so it is difficult to tell if they were enforcement officers, Tien said.

Hong Kong's Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok has said that the department is waiting for the results of the investigation.