Hong Kong: journalists report multiple stalking and harassment incidents

  • 04 Apr 2023

The safety of journalists remains under threat in the country with reports of journalists being harassed and followed.

In recent weeks, several journalists in Hong Kong have reported being stalked and harassed in the country. The National Union of Journalists joins the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in urging Hong Kong authorities to investigate the incidents through an urgent investigation.

On 22 March, a Hong Kong Free press (HKFP) court reporter stated she was followed by two unknown men for over an hour on her commute to work. When confronted by HKPF colleagues, the two men refused to answer questions and left promptly.

HKFP have reported another incident where two unknown men attempted to follow journalists following their coverage of the Stand News trial on 21 March. They are believed to have spent time waiting outside the court’s press room, showing ID to security staff as part of efforts to tail reporters.

Hong Kong Police have not released information regarding any investigations, instead expressing “deep regret” over “speculations.” Some journalists have questioned whether the men were undercover police officers based on their interaction with court security and earpieces worn.

Journalists in the country face hostile working environments from authorities who aim to stifle press freedom and fail to ensure journalists’ safety. The union has condemned raids and arrests at media sites and expressed concern over the impact of National Security Law, since its enactment by China in 2020.

The IFJ said:

“Journalists and media workers should not have to operate with the fear of being pursued, and these incidents will further contribute to the culture of fear felt by journalists in Hong Kong amidst the deteriorating environment for press freedom in the city.

“The IFJ calls on the Hong Kong authorities to conduct a swift investigation into the reports of stalking and ensure that all media workers can conduct their work free from harassment and intimidation as guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”

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