15 AUG 2011

Category Press Freedom
Issue Three reporters arrested at new govt headquarter
News Content Police arrested three journalists last Thursday evening after they were stopped by the police at the Chief Executive Office building. Accusing them of attempted break-in, the police took them to the Central Police Station for further investigation. They were released without charge seven hours later. MingPao issued a statement expressing its strong regret that the police had made arrest without any reasonable burglary. One of the journalists arrested was from Mingpao. Chairman of Hong Kong News Executives’ Association, Mr. Chiu Ying-chun said the police should contact the newspapers for clarification when the three stated clearly they were journalists. Secretary for Security Lee Siu-kwong then issued a statement, pledging to protect press freedom.
Questions The police are overacting, putting security concern prior to public access to information. The three journalists should not have been arrested. It is absurd that they were arrested under the accusation of attempted burglary. The police will take all deemed necessary to threaten people from accessing the public property. The government pledge is an empty promise without the legislation of the Freedom of Information Act. Security loophole is exposed and the police just shifted the burden to the media. The common trick we have seen and will be seen in the future.