Local media groups have condemned the attacks on journalists by white-shirted mobs in Yuen Long on Sunday night, urging police to perform their duty and protect citizens and reporters.
According to media reports, at least four journalists were attacked by a group of men wearing white T-shirts at Yuen Long MTR station. Two of them were beaten to the ground, with a male reporter left bleeding from his mouth, while a female reporter suffered injuries to her finger, right shoulder and the back of her head.
The mobs also assaulted black-clad protesters and other passengers with rods and canes, leaving at least 45 people injured.
A joint statement was issued on Monday by the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, the Hong Kong Press Photographers’ Association and the Independent Commentators’ Association, strongly condemning the violent acts against journalists. They said the attacks were a “severe infringement of press freedom and the public’s right to know”.
Yesterday morning, journalist organisation the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) held a silent protest outside its building in Central, with protesters holding banners that read: “Yes to media freedom, no to violence against journalists”. Young Post Editor Susan Ramsay and SCMP Special Projects Editor Cliff Buddle took part. The FCC also renewed their demand for an independent investigation into all forms of violence and intimidation directed at media workers during the recent protests.
Meanwhile, almost 900 reporters and former staff members of the Hong Kong Economic Times signed a joint petition online on Monday to protest against comments made by the paper’s co-founder, Arthur Shek Kang-chuen, at a pro-government rally in Admiralty last Saturday.
Shek has been accused of inciting violence when he said that people should “teach their kids a lesson” with a cane. If people cannot find a cane at home, he added, they should buy water pipes from hardware stores. In a statement issued on Monday, Shek offered “the most sincere” apology to society and his colleagues for the inconvenience and disturbance caused by his remarks.