An attack on two Hong Kong journalists in Beijing yesterday was roundly condemned by local politicians and news groups.
The pair, cameramen for TVB and Now TV, were reportedly beaten by unidentified men as they filmed activist Yang Kuang's bid to visit Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife, who has been under extralegal house arrest for over two years.
TVB issued a statement calling for the attackers' arrest. It also urged the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council to protect Hong Kong journalists' safety on the mainland.
Local delegates to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Consultative Conference (CPPCC) said the attack was unacceptable.
"Hong Kong treasures and respects freedom of the press. It is unacceptable for reporters to be attacked when they are doing their job legally, and [such action] should be condemned. It's a pity for something like this to happen during the annual congress," NPC deputy Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said. He has contacted the Hong Kong government's Beijing office and was looking forward to it following up on the matter.
Fellow delegate Michael Tien Puk-sun said: "Who are these people? Do they have enforcement power?" And CPPCC delegate Henry Tang Ying-yen said "anything against the law should be dealt with".
Shirley Yam, vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, strongly condemned the incident and requested "the perpetrators return the reporters' belongings and compensate them". The Hong Kong News Executives Association said it was outraged by the attack and mainland authorities must allow "free discussions about the country's matters" during the two meetings.