Ombudsman urged to probe RTHK reporter saga - RTHK
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Ombudsman urged to probe RTHK reporter saga

2020-11-20 HKT 13:27
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  • Complaints against Nabela Qoser poured in during the protests, along with many messages of praise. File image: RTHK
    Complaints against Nabela Qoser poured in during the protests, along with many messages of praise. File image: RTHK
  • Janet Mak (pictured) says it is unfair for RTHK to investigate the same complaints twice. Photo: RTHK
    Janet Mak (pictured) says it is unfair for RTHK to investigate the same complaints twice. Photo: RTHK
Frances Sit reports
A former chairwoman of RTHK's staff union lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman on Friday over the public broadcaster's move to reopen an investigation into complaints against TV reporter Nabela Qoser.

Qoser was earlier cleared of any wrongdoing after complaints flooded in over her tough questioning of the authorities during last year's protests, along with many comments praising her.

But management at the station reopened their investigation into the journalist in September and extended her probation period as a civil servant by four months.

Filing a report to the Ombudsman, former staff member Janet Mak accused RTHK management of abusing their power.

Mak said it was unfair to target Qoser and investigate the same complaints against her twice.

"According to Civil Service procedures, a case closed is closed. It cannot be reopened on the same issue, on the same charges. There should be proper procedures for the RTHK management to follow, these procedures have to be seen to be fair," she said.

Mak also expressed concern that RTHK and other government departments could arbitrarily reopen more old complaint cases once this one is established, affecting all civil servants – even those who are retired.

"You will be very cautious in doing your work. As a reporter, he or she will not dare to ask the questions for the audience or for the public because they have to protect themselves. Extending [this] to other civil servants, this will have a very widespread and negative effect," she said.

RTHK management said earlier that the government has established mechanisms and procedures to handle employment matters relating to civil servants. It said it does not comment on individual cases.