Hong Kong authorities arrest journalist association head Ronson Chan

Taipei, September 7, 2022 – Hong Kong authorities must immediately release Ronson Chan, stop harassing members of the press and ensure that professional groups of journalists can work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Wednesday. .

On the morning of Wednesday, September 7, Hong Kong police arrested Chan, a journalist for independent online media Channel C HK and chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, according to new reports.

Chan was covering a meeting of apartment owners in Mong Kok when police demanded to see his ID and then took him into custody at Mong Kok police station, according to this information and Channel C HKwho said Chan covered the event with a videographer, who also showed police his ID but was not arrested.

Authorities accuse Chan of obstructing police officers and disturbing public order, according to the reports. He remained in custody Wednesday evening, according to his employer.

“Hong Kong police must stop harassing journalists and allow them to do their job,” said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, program director at CPJ in New York. “The arrest of Ronson Chan by the police contradicts the assertions of the Beijing and Hong Kong authorities that the city’s press is free to do its job unimpeded.”

According new reports, police say officers found two men at the apartment owner’s meeting behaving suspiciously and asked them to show their identification. Police identified the men as Lee and Chan, and said Lee complied with police and Chan behaved uncooperatively and was taken into custody, according to those reports.

If he is found guilty of obstruct the police, Chan could face up to six months in prison; if he is found guilty public disorderhe could face up to a year, according to these laws.

Chan, a veteran journalist and former deputy editor of the now-closed Stand News, chairs the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the city’s largest journalists’ union, according to the reports. The association considered disbanding under legal pressure, but it still works, as documented by CPJ.

Chan had previously been arrested along with five others affiliated with Stand News in December 2021. He is expected to leave town at the end of September for a Reuters Institute fellowship at the University of Oxford, Chan wrote. on Facebook.

CPJ emailed Hong Kong police for comment, but received no immediate response.

CPJ’s December 1, 2021 prison census found that China remained the world’s worst jailer of journalists for the third consecutive year. It was the first time that Hong Kong journalists appeared in CPJ’s census.

Andrew B. Reiter