The Overseas Press Club strongly opposes the new Hong Kong Police policy established Sept. 22 that narrows the definition of “media representatives” and grants law enforcement the power to determine which journalists can report on demonstrations in the city.
The new rule represents a de facto licensing system for media working in Hong Kong. It recognizes only those journalists registered with the government, or from “internationally recognized and reputable” foreign media outlets.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, points out that the rule will exclude freelance journalists and student reporters from covering demonstrations, in addition to raising the risk of being arrested.
The new policy also undermines the rigorous press credentialing process managed by members of the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association.
Article 27 of the Basic Law outlines clear protections for press freedom in Hong Kong, though the new police law is the latest example of freedom erosion that is gaining momentum since Beijing imposed the new national security law on July 1.
The Overseas Press Club is an international association of journalists based in New York City that works to encourage the highest standards in journalism, to educate the next generation of foreign correspondents and to promote international press freedom and the well-being of colleagues in the field.