Four men wearing masks and carrying hammers and a bat damaged many equipments inside the independent Hong Kong broadcaster Citizens’ Radio station the early morning of July 1st in the midst of protests against the extradition bill that would allow China to handpick journalists and their sources.
“This mob-like attack sends a chilling message to all media groups that cover the demonstrations,” says Cédric Alviani, head of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau, who urges the Hong Kong authorities “to identify and punish the instigators of this violent act.”
Citizens’ Radio, a non-profit broadcaster, was established in 2005 by pro-democracy figure Tsang Kin Shing. It was never granted a broadcasting licence but kept operating in spite of legal harassment. In recent weeks, Hong Kong has seen a surge of violence against media, reminiscent of the aggressions during the Umbrella Movement in 2014.
Hong Kong plummeted to 73rd place in this year’s RSF World Press Freedom Index. China, on the other hand, ranks 177th out of 180.