(English press release) HKJA condemns barring of HK reporters
The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association has strongly condemned the barring of Hong Kong press at the APEC ministerial conference in Indonesia.
The move came after Hong Kong reporters asked President Aquino of the Philippines whether his administration would apologise to the families of the victims of the Manila bus tragedy in 2010 when eight Hong Kong people died due to the actions of a rogue policeman.
Mr Aquino ignored the questions but the reporters said several officials then approached them and seized their accreditation cards saying, “We don’t welcome you. You offended our excellency.”
The journalists involved are from RTHK, NOW TV and Commercial Radio. There has been no official explanation so far.
The HKJA has called on the Hong Kong government to take up the matter.
(Translated from Chinese) Reporters removed from APEC venue over question to Philippine president — Journalists Association denounces infringement of press freedom
Philippine president Benigno Aquino III was confronted by Hong Kong journalists at the APEC forum in Bali, who asked whether he would apologize for the Manila hostage incident of 2010, and whether he would meet with Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Aquino did not comment on either question.
Journalists from three local media outlets, including RTHK, were present at the APEC forum in waiting of President Aquino and were not prevented from doing so in any way, but as soon as the questions were asked, forum staff declared that the journalists were causing a disturbance and disrespecting the forum. The journalists had their passes confiscated and were evicted from the venue.
A spokesperson for RTHK expressed regret at the confiscation of the journalists’ press passes for conducting normal reporting duties, and said that the organization is working with the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong Information Services Department to follow up on the case.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association stated that asking questions is a reporter’s duty. Due to being kept at a distance from their intended subjects, journalists may be forced to shout on occasion, but that does not mean they are being disrespectful. The Association also claimed that the infringement of press freedom via the confiscation of press passes was the true show of disrespect.
Footage from Now TV: