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七大專新聞系聯署 指警修改通例損新聞自由 促撤回

2020/9/23 — 10:51

圖片來源:各大院校網頁

圖片來源:各大院校網頁

警方今天起修改《警察通例》有關警員須要盡量配合傳媒工作的條文中的「傳媒代表」定義,刪除現在承認香港記者協會及攝影記者協會會員證持有人為傳媒代表的內容,又僅承認有新聞處新聞發佈系統登記資格的傳媒。香港七家大學和學院新聞系今天發表聯署聲明,指有關修訂不明智,強烈敦促警方撤銷該建議,並呼籲特區政府考慮到警隊單方面的決定對香港新聞自由的損害,停止將該建議成為政策。

該七家院校為浸大、中大、城大、恆大、樹大、港大及珠海學院。

聲明強調根據《公民權利和政治權利國際公約》與《基本法》,香港居民享有言論、新聞和出版自由;結社,集會,遊行和示威的自由;以及建立和參加工會以及罷工的權利和自由。

廣告

聲明指,明白警方執法時尤其在示威當中,要辨識記者有困難,亦強調警方有權對從事非法活動的人採取執法行動,但有關修訂將等於向警員發出明確指示,可驅散無做錯事、只行使採訪自由的非主流媒體記者,認為修訂相關條例確實限制新聞自由,不單剝奪了非主流媒體工作的記者和為各種媒體工作、有經驗的自由記者的新聞蒐集權,而且還剝奪了普通公民的新聞蒐集權。

七院校新聞系強調,七家大學與院校新聞課程一直是香港大多數專業記者的搖籃,作為他們教育的一部分,新聞系學生一直在報道有新聞價值的事件上,秉持與專業人士相同的道德守則,公平和誠實地行事。

廣告

聲明又指,對於只因並非已登記政府新聞處新聞發佈系統的學生媒體或獨立媒體,會被禁止報道某些有新聞價值的事情,大學新聞系和學院認為是不能接受,而近年社會一系列的發展,香港作為一個自由社會的國際形象受到嚴重考驗,警方修例以認證記者身份無疑是不明智,因此強烈敦促警方撤銷該建議;政府亦應考慮到此舉會損害香港新聞自由,呼籲停止建議變成政策。

聲明全文:

Joint Statement by University Journalism Educators on Hong Kong Police Force Proposal for Press Credentials Policy

Hong Kong, 23 September 2020

As journalism educators, we would like to express our gravest reservations over the proposal by the Hong Kong Police Force to implement a new policy on recognising press credentials, as stated in a letter by Chief Superintendent of Police Kwok Ka-chuen dated 22 September 2020 to four Hong Kong news associations. According to the letter, the police will amend the definition of “media representatives” in the Police General Orders to the effect that only the holders of identity documents issued by the following organisations would be recognised as journalists:

a) Media organisations registered under the GNMIS system; and

b) Internationally recognised and well-known non-local news agencies, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television stations.

We are highly concerned that the practical implication of this proposal is that it would strip the people of Hong Kong of a fundamental right. Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides, among other things, that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.” Article 27 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong stipulates that “Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication; freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.” Accordingly, the proposed policy would amount to depriving the news gathering right of not just journalists working for non-mainstream media and experienced freelancers working for various kinds of media outlets, but also that of ordinary citizens.

We appreciate the difficulties faced by police officers on the frontline in distinguishing who are or are not journalists on certain occasions, such as at protest scenes. In our view, the police have every right to take action against anyone engaging in illegal activities; however, this proposed policy is in effect restricting the freedom of reporting. We are concerned that the new policy would amount to giving clear instructions to officers to disperse non-mainstream journalists who have done no wrong and are only exercising their right to gather information.

The journalism programmes of our universities have been the cradles of most professional journalists in Hong Kong. As part of their education, our students have been covering newsworthy happenings, and they follow the same code of ethics as professionals do by acting fairly and honestly. We cannot accept that they would be barred from covering certain newsworthy events merely because the student or independent media they work for are not registered with the GNMIS.

At a time when Hong Kong’s international image as a free society has come under scrutiny because of a series of developments in recent years, the proposed policy on recognition of press credentials could not have been more ill-advised. We strongly urge the police to rescind the proposal and call on the Hong Kong SAR Government to halt the proposal from becoming policy in view of the damage on freedom of the press in Hong Kong by this unilateral decision on the part of the Hong Kong Police Force.

By Department of Journalism, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University
School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong
School of Communication, Hang Seng University of Hong Kong
Department of Journalism and Communication, Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Journalism and Media Studies Centre, University of Hong Kong
Department of Journalism and Communication, Chu Hai College of Higher Educationof Higher Education

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