- Shen Yun
Aktuelle Nachrichten – NTD Television
While covering news about unrest in Urumqi last week, three Hong Kong journalists became news themselves.
This incident report was published by the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of China last week. Journalists from Hong Kong’s TVB and Now TV were in Urumqi reporting on the protests there—when armed police tackled them as they tried to escape from tear gas. They were beaten and pinned to the ground.
On Tuesday, Hou Hanmin, the director of the Xinjiang Government Information Office, released the results of official investigations of the incident. She expressed regret over what happened, but says the police on duty responded in accordance with procedures. She says the journalists violated regulations by refusing to show media credentials and then appeared to incite the protesting crowd.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Hong Kong media reacted angrily to these accusations.
“They say they have already shown their press pass. Secondly, should having no press pass result in such a beating?”
When Hou walked away from the question, the journalist called out.
“Don’t you lie! They definitely had press passes. How can it be possible that they have no press passes?”
As Hou proceeded to leave the press conference, some journalists yelled this: “The government is lying. Shameless! The government is shameless!”
Both TVB and Now TV have issued statements firmly denying the authorities’ accusations.
TVB Journalist Liu Yongquan says he showed his press pass to police, but they ignored it.
[Liu Yongquan, TVB Journalist]:
“I immediately showed it to him. I showed it to him like this, but they ignored it and kept on beating us, and finally the press pass fell off.”
Hong Kong media also challenged Hou Hanmin to show evidence of the journalists allegedly inciting the crowd.
“But you said there were Hong Kong journalists gesturing to incite the crowd. If you have video evidence of this, please show it. Otherwise please do not lie.”
[Hou Hanmin, Director of the Xinjiang Government Information Office]:
“The results of my investigation showed that.”
The actions of Xinjiang authorities have drawn widespread condemnation from Hong Kong media. They want authorities to carry out an impartial investigation and guarantee the safety of journalists.