Journalist attacked while on-air by suspected triad gangsters in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2019   •   905

Hong Kong journalist livestreams attack by men wearing white t-shirts at a train station. Video credit: The Stand News

A man in a pink shirt and jeans is seen hitting out at people with a stick over the barrier of a train’s passenger gantry. In the next moment, he runs at the camera and starts hitting the person behind it.

These were the moments faced on Sunday (July 21) night by Gwyneth Ho, a reporter with online Hong Kong news outlet Stand News, as she was assaulted while live-streaming coverage of an attack by men who opposition politicians suspect were gang members, on pro-democracy protesters at a train station in rural Hong Kong.

Men, most in white shirts, with some clutching clubs, flooded into Yuen Long station and stormed a train, attacking passengers with pipes, poles and other objects.

Ho continued filming even after she was struck and knocked to the ground, capturing footage of paramedics attending to the injured and people confronting the police who arrived to control the crowds.

Stand News later reported that she was taken to hospital for treatment and received stitches.

Witnesses said the men in white had appeared to target black-shirted passengers who had been at an anti-government march earlier in the day. (REUTERS)

(Production: Travis Teo)

China detains employee of British consulate in Hong Kong

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang confirming detention of Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate, Simon Cheng | Courtesy: Reuters

A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.

Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.

Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.

“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.

“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.

Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.

Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)

(Production: Martin Pollard)

Hong Kong leader says she hoped peaceful protest as turning point

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (August 20) she hoped the peaceful protest over the weekend was the start of an effort to restore peace in the city and that the government would speak to peaceful protesters as well as tackle complaints against police.

Lam said the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPPC), had set up a task force to investigate complaints about police actions, whilst also reiterating that there is no plan to revive the controversial extradition bill.

“One is an important fact-finding study in addition to a very robust system to investigate and look at the complaints against police over this prolonged period of confrontations and violence. The other is a more rare arrangement, is for the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Council), which is statutory and independent, to create a fact finding study into the causes and the facts of these incidents. So, I hope that this is a very responsible response to the aspirations for better understanding of what has taken place in Hong Kong,” she said.

“The second area of work that I have announced, which will give us much better basis to address some anxieties and differences in society, is we will start immediately a platform for dialogue with people from all walks of life. So, this is something that we want to do in a very sincere and humble manner. I and my principal officials are committed to listen to what the people have to tell us and we want to reach out to the community as soon as possible,” she added.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied peacefully in the Chinese-ruled city amidst torrential rain on Sunday (August 18) in the eleventh week of what have often been violent demonstrations.

Aside from Lam’s resignation, demonstrators have five demands – complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a halt to descriptions of the protests as “riots”, a waiver of charges against those arrested, an independent inquiry and resumption of political reform. (Reuters)

(Production: Ronn Bautista, Joyce Zhou, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

Chinese paramilitary continues to hold exercises near Hong Kong border

Robie de Guzman   •   August 16, 2019

Hundreds of members of China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) continued to conduct exercises on Friday (August 16) at a sports stadium in Shenzhen.

Paramilitary soldiers could be seen marching and holding anti-riot drills outside of the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.

Hundreds of armored vehicles remained parked on surrounding streets.

The Shenzhen stadium sits across the water from Hong Kong’s rural hinterland, near a bridge straddling the border.

Chinese state media have made several mentions of exercises in Shenzhen.

The U.S. State Department expressed concern on Wednesday (August 14) that the People’s Armed Police could be deployed across the border in Hong Kong to break up protests wracking the city. (REUTERS)

(Production: Martin Pollard, Joseph Campbell)

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