China: two media workers charged with riot for reporting Hong Kong protest a year beforeEvent
- Initial Date
- Jun 10, 2020
- Event Description
On June 10th, almost a year after the brief occupation of the Legislative Council building (LegCo) during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, two journalists at the scene have been slammed with new charges of rioting which in the law carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence, but is in this case is limited to seven years due to the fact it is judged by the District Court in Hong Kong.
Ma Kai-chung, a reporter from the online media Passion Times and Wong Ka-ho, the deputy chief-editor of the City University of Hong Kong�s student journal, will both be tried in August alongside 10 protestors and were initially only charged with �illegally entering and remaining in the Legislative Council chamber�, an offense which carries a maximum 3-month prison sentence.
�These two journalists were only performing their professional duty by documenting the occupation of the Legislative Council building and should never be indicted, and especially not charged with a crime that carries a 10-year jail term�, says C�dric Alviani, Reporters Without Borders� (RSF) East Asia bureau head, who calls on the Hong Kong Secretary for Justice to �immediately drop the absurd rioting charge.�
On the night of July 1st 2019, a date that marked the 22nd anniversary of the former British colony�s handover to China, a small group of protesters stormed the Legislative Council building, whilst over half a million Hong Kong residents took to the streets protesting against a now withdrawn bill that would have allowed extradition to the mainland.
According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), Hong Kong�s press freedom dropped to a record low in 2019, largely as a result of police violence. RSF has raised the issue of violence against journalists in a letter last July addressed to Carrie Lam, head of the Hong Kong executive, but received only a canned response.
The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong has fallen from 18th place in 2002 to 80th place in this year�s RSF Press Freedom Index. The People's Republic of China stagnates at the bottom of the index in 177th place out of a total of 180 countries.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Media freedom
- Media Worker
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 10 June 2020, Ma Kai-chung and Wong Ka-ho, media workers, were charged with riot for reporting Hong Kong protest a year before by a Hong Kong court in China.