Several journalists reporting on demonstrations against the extradition bill in Hong Kong in the past few days were victims of police violence. The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), which received at least 15 complaints, reports that police used flashlights to stop them from shooting photos and videos and pushed them towards metal barriers. According to media reports, journalists have also been hit by pepper spray and tear gas, and, for some of them, abused and insulted by police officers.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Hong Kong law enforcement officials to respect freedom of the press and to refrain from attacking journalists. "If the media cannot freely cover the protests, the public would have to rely on the inevitably biased information provided by the authorities or the demonstrators," says Cédric Alviani, head of the RSF East Asia bureau, who urges the authorities “to investigate these incidents and make sure that they do not happen again."
In this year’s RSF World Press Freedom Index, Hong Kong dropped from 18th place in 2002 to 73rd. China ranks 177th out of 180.