A former journalist at Hong Kong’s public broadcaster is appealing against her conviction for improperly accessing public records during the making of a documentary critical of how police handled a 2019 mob attack, saying letting the case go now would be a source of lifelong regret. Bao Choy Yuk-ling, who worked as a freelance producer for RTHK, admitted she had no reason to be optimistic about the outcome given Hong Kong’s “rapidly changing” political climate, but vowed to challenge the verdict in the city’s top court if required. “I have struggled with whether I should be more selfish and just let the case go, let myself go and just do whatever I want,” Choy wrote on social media on Wednesday as she announced her appeal bid. “But after going through the sadness and thinking over and over again, I know that I will definitely regret it for life and would not be able to sleep at night if I give up the pursuit of justice at this moment.” Hong Kong journalist convicted, fined HK$6,000 over Yuen Long attack programme Choy filed her appeal two weeks after she was found guilty on two counts of knowingly making a false statement under the Road Traffic Ordinance, and fined HK$6,000 (US$773). She was convicted over her use of a government database while working on a documentary investigating police’s response to a mob attack in Yuen Long during the 2019 anti-government protests . In what was widely regarded as a watershed moment of that year’s unrest, a white-clad mob with metal rods and rattan canes attacked commuters and protesters, injuring at least 45 people. Police’s perceived slow response that night triggered a public outcry, with officers accused of colluding with the assailants. The force has repeatedly denied that allegation, saying officers were stretched battling a protest in the heart of the city. Choy was found by West Kowloon Court on April 22 to have twice deceived the Transport Department by using car ownership details obtained from the government database for news reporting, rather than the transport-related purpose she declared when seeking access. The transport option is one of three that applicants must select to obtain access to the data, with the others being “legal proceedings” and “sale and purchase of vehicles”. News reporting is not a choice. Principal Magistrate Ivy Chui Yee-mei ruled that the legislative intent of the Road Traffic Ordinance was to confine use of the information to specific purposes as a way of preventing abuse, and argued it was not important whether Choy had sought the information in good faith. The case is one of several recent episodes in Hong Kong that have fuelled concerns about the levels of press freedom in the city. The Hong Kong Journalists Association’s (HKJA) press freedom index for the city was revealed on Monday to have sunk to a new all-time low. Contributors attributed the decline to the national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year. About 99 per cent of the respondents agreed that Choy’s prosecution was detrimental to press freedom. Choy’s former employer, RTHK, has also been mired in controversy. The public broadcaster confirmed earlier this week that it would remove shows from its online platforms a year after they first aired, sparking concerns that the new changes were being introduced to rid its archives of all previously aired material deemed too critical of the government. The broadcaster also decided not to renew the contract of Nabela Qoser, a reporter who has drawn controversy over her confrontational approach to interviewing officials. The journalist is set to leave RTHK at the end of the month.