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Hong Kong scribes register protest as police intimidate reporter, confiscate travel documents

ANI | Updated: Jul 29, 2021 10:10 IST

Hong Kong, July 29 (ANI): A group of journalists has demanded the Hong Kong police to explain why a city reporter's home was searched and travel documents were confiscated, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) informed on Wednesday.
An IFJ statement said that the Hong Kong police force's national security unit searched a journalist's home on July 26 and confiscated her travel documents, mobile phone and computer following the reporter recording a person attacking a police officer with a knife in Causeway Bay on July 1.
The 56-year-old reporter for Secret China, a Chinese-language American media outlet, was asked to give a statement at Wan Chai police station as a witness on July 1 when the attack occurred.
According to Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), police did not notify the association and visited the reporter's temporary residence to seek an additional statement.

"Implementation Rules for Article 43 of the national security law provides that police may only with a warrant confiscate travel documents belonging to a person under investigation over suspected violations of the security law," the Hong Kong Free Press noted.
Rights and advocacy groups have highlighted further broad and intrusive powers given to the national security unit under the National Security Law, limiting the right to privacy and freedom of expression.
The HKJA said: "HKJA demands the police explain whether the reporter is indeed 'assisting an investigation,' and if so, why was her home searched and her travel documents confiscated?"
The IFJ said the repeated questioning, search and confiscation of the journalist's property and travel documents through the powers given to police under the National Security Law demonstrate how authorities use the law to target and intimidate journalists.
"Despite police claiming the reporter is only assisting police, the actions of police by questioning her under caution and restricting her movement cannot be justified and criminalise freedom of expression," IFJ added. (ANI)