Police abused powers by fining reporters, says HKJA - RTHK
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Police abused powers by fining reporters, says HKJA

2020-07-22 HKT 20:21
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  • Journalists covering protests to mark the first anniversary of the July 21 Yuen Long outrage say they were given fines and repeatedly stopped for ID checks by the police. File photo: Reuters
    Journalists covering protests to mark the first anniversary of the July 21 Yuen Long outrage say they were given fines and repeatedly stopped for ID checks by the police. File photo: Reuters
The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has accused the police of abusing their powers by giving penalty tickets over the four-person pandemic gathering limit to reporters covering protests in Yuen Long on Tuesday.

The association said at least 17 student reporters were fined, even though there are exemptions in the law to allow the media to carry out their duties.

Protests outside Yuen Long MTR Station and in the nearby Yoho Mall were held to mark the first anniversary of the July 21 gang rampage in the town. Despite being inundated with 999 calls, police failed to invervene in the vicious attack which put dozens in hospital.

As well as the HK$2,000 fines, journalists covering Tuesday evening's protests also complained that they were repeatedly stopped by officers and ordered to show their ID.

The HKJA condemned the police's behaviour and said the force must stop interfering in the media's work.

Meanwhile, the police have made complaints against the media regarding a protest in Yuen Long on Sunday.

Writing to four journalist associations, the force said one reporter, who was not wearing a face mask, shouted at officers.

It said a group of reporters had also rushed towards a cordon line to see why police were searching a number of people, forcing officers to fire pepper spray at one point due to the chaotic situation.

Police also complained to the associations that they found two 15-year-old boys at the scene who claimed to be carrying out reporting duties.