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October 25, 2019

Hong Kong: RSF opposes any centralised system for identifying journalists

PHOTO: PHILIP FONG / AFP
In a joint statement, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and a coalition of NGOs and media groups express their concern over the possible establishment of a centralised system for identifying journalists in Hong Kong.

In a joint statement issued on October 19th, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and a coalition of NGOs and media groups express their concern over the possible establishment of a centralised system of identification of journalists, as reported in Chinese-language media, that risks to further undermine the freedom of the press in Hong Kong.


“A centralised identification system would not improve the security of journalists in Hong Kong, but could instead be diverted for surveillance and pressure," warns Cédric Alviani, head of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau, recalling that "many journalists have already been victims of violence and intimidation by the police since the beginning of the demonstrations five months ago. ”


The coalition includes the following organisations: Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA), Independent Commentators Association (ICA), The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Journalism Educators for Press Freedom, Ming Pao Staff Association, Next Media Trade Union, RTHK Programme Staff Union, CitizenNews, Hong Kong Free Press, Inmedia, Post852, and Stand News.


In the RSF press freedom rankings, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China dropped from 18th place in 2002 to 73rd place this year.