IFJ - International Federation of Journalists

06/06/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/05/2024 23:24

Hong Kong: Journalists obstructed, detained on Tiananmen anniversary

06 June 2024

Hong Kong: Journalists obstructed, detained on Tiananmen anniversary

As Hong Kong police crackdown on commemorations of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, journalists and media workers have faced obstruction and harassment from authorities. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the Hong Kong Police Force to allow the media to work without interference from police, and authorities to ensure the city's constitutional commitments to press freedom are upheld.


Police patrol along a street in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on June 4, 2024. Credit: Isaac Lawrence / AFP

In a video posted to social media, Swiss photographer Marc Progin and an unidentified woman can be seen being escorted by police away from a press contingent covering commemorations of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay, before being taken into a police vehicle.

Progin and his friend were transported to the Hong Kong Police Headquarters in Wan Chai, where they were questioned and searched, before being released at around 11 pm. According to police, the journalist was taken away from the protest as they were 'unable' to check his identification documents while in the presence of the crowd.

In a separate incident, Hong Kong Journalists Association Chair (HKJA) and Channel C multimedia production director Ronson Chan was obstructed by police at approximately 8.30 pm on June 4 in Causeway Bay. Reportedly, after a police superintendent invited Chan to enter an area to cover an interview, a Chief Inspector accused the journalist of 'taking the lead' in the disruption of order. Chan was threatened with arrest and asked to leave.

Commemorations of June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, have been restricted in the city, with a heavy police presence in Causeway Bay, and several activists, artists, and critical voices stopped by police, detained, or charged. While covering commemorations in 2023, former HKJA Chair and Radio France International correspondent Mak Yin-ting was detained, searched, and transported to the Wan Chai Police Station where she was held for five hours.

The IFJ said:"The detention of Marc Progin and obstruction of Ronson Chan are deeply concerning and represent clear police overreach. Journalists must be free to document important stories without fear of arbitrary detention or threats of arrest. Hong Kong authorities must ensure the city's constitutional commitments to Press Freedom are upheld."

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

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