Hong Kong Police Criticized for Arresting Reporters & Rights Observers

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Media watchdogs and rights advocates called on Hong Kong police to stop harassing human rights observers in the region. It came after police removed a rights worker and arrested one of our interns at NTD's Hong Kong bureau during the annual July 1st protest marking Hong Kong's return to China.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong and international rights groups criticized the police for handling journalists and a rights worker unfairly during the July 1st protest.

[Milabel Cristobal Amar, Director of Amnesty International, HK Section]:
"We want to reiterate that Hong Kong police must respect the observational works of human rights defenders, and the media in covering news. We will be paying close attention and follow this issue."

This year's pro-democracy protest on the anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule kept going into the early hours of July 2nd. That's when police removed the director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, Law Yuk-kai. Mr. Law was in uniform videotaping police arresting protestors who were blocking traffic.

Shortly after, police arrested Kiri Choy, an intern at NTD's Hong Kong bureau. She was there covering the protest. While Kiri Choy did not have a press pass on her at the time, she explained she was a reporter. She was taken to the police station and held for more 10 hours, even though NTD had promptly faxed through her credentials.

[Kiri Choy, NTD Intern]:
"They asked me to hold an A4 paper with a number on it in front me. They took a front and profile picture of me. I felt I was treated like a suspect."

[Chong Yiu-kwong, Chairperson of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor]:
"She wasn't blocking traffic, there was no reasonable suspicion. Why was she arrested? I even feel it was an illegal arrest."