Lufeng police respond to report of “beating up” HK journalists
On September 17, officers from Lufeng Police Department responded to a report titled “Wukan Police beat up 5 HK journalists”, which alleged 5 journalists from HK had been “slapped, punched and slammed” by policemen from Lufeng city, Guangdong province. The officers pointed out that the reports are not in accordance with the fact, as the five reporters were suspected of being involved in illegal interview.
According to the police from Lufeng, on September 14 of 2016, at 9:10 p.m. in Donghai District, Lufeng, Wukan villager Chen and Lin found out that 3 unidentified men broke in a house. Then they informed the security team of their village. After the security team arrived, two sides pushed and shoved with each other. After that, the 3 unidentified men were sent to the police office.
After inquiry, the police confirmed that 3 men were journalists from Hong Kong, respectively 2 reporters from MingPao Daily surnamed Chen and Deng, and 1 reporter from South China Morning Post surnamed Mai. The police reported this to the News Office of Lufeng City.
At 21:00 Lufeng policemen found two suspicious individuals who attempted to enter Wukan village at the crossing of Shanqi village, Donghai Town.
After identity confirmation, two suspicious individuals were journalists from “HK01” surnamed Yu and Cai. Since these two people did not have valid press cards, Lufeng policemen sent them to Lufeng Municipal Public Security Bureau.
According to Lufeng Municipal Information Office, four of the five HK journalists had no valid press cards issued by All-China Journalists Association.
Journalist from “South Morning Post” surnamed Mai had valid press card, but did not carried out relevant procedures. Journalist from MingPao Daily surnamed Deng had the press card, but it had already expired. The other three had no valid press card.
Lufeng Municipal Information Office emphasized that all these five journalists had violated the regulations of Hong Kong and Macao’s journalists reporting on mainland.
The staff of Lufeng Municipal News Office talked with the five reporters on their plan then, and the reporters wanted to go back to Hong Kong. The news office then sent them back to Hong Kong via Shenzhen later that day.
The representative of Lufeng Police said they dealt with the case rationally and calmly and in accordance to the laws. Some Hong Kong media said that in this case, the Lufeng police had rude deeds such as “slap, punch and slam”. Their reports are not in accordance with the fact.
When reporting on mainland, reporters from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions (SARs) are able to interview anyone who consents, rather than having to seek government permissions beforehand, as long as they hold press cards or press cards for resident reporters obtained from the liaison offices of the central government, according to the regulations released by the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
"Hong Kong and Macao journalists wishing to interview organizations or individuals in the mainland need to obtain their prior consent and need to present their press cards" when conducting interviews, the rules said.