Choy Yuk-Ling stands in front of supporters holding up placards outside the court in Hong Kong. Lam Yik/Reuters
A Hong Kong journalist appeared in court on Tuesday on charges of making false statements while obtaining information from a vehicle database, amid growing concerns that press freedom is at risk in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
Choy Yuk-ling, a producer at public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong, was arrested earlier this month on charges of making false statements about why she was obtaining license plate information from a publicly accessible database.
She was previously involved in the production of an investigative documentary into the behavior of Hong Kong police during last year's anti-government protests, after the force was accused of not intervening during a violent clash between protesters and a mob of men in a subway station.
Ahead of her court appearance, Choy told reporters the case was a matter related to public interest and press freedom in Hong Kong.
“There has been a very strong social understanding … that journalists are free to obtain public information for the sake of public interest,” she said. “I didn’t see any reason that the government has to restrict the flow of information.”
She said that many scholars, unions and lawyers have expressed concerns as to whether the police are using the law to suppress press freedom.
Members from an RTHK union, as well as supporters and pro-democracy activists, held up placards in support of Choy, some of which read “Journalism is not a crime” and “Without fear of favour.”
Choy's case was adjourned until Jan.14 to give the police more time to investigate, and she was released on bail.
Media groups are concerned Hong Kong's new security law, which outlaws secession, subversion and foreign collusion to interfere in the city's internal matters, could be used against journalist reporting on issues thought to be related to national security.
The U.S. and others have denounced the law imposed by Beijing as an attack on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms. The US State Department on Monday announced sanctions against additional Chinese officials over the crackdown.
Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific announced on Wednesday that it will buy budget airline HK Express for US$628.15 million, as it moves to counter competition from the increasing number of low-cost carriers in the region.
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) signed an agreement to encourage and protect investments between the UAE and the Hong Kong Government, as part of the ministry’s efforts to protect the nation’s investments abroad and to attract foreign investments.
HSBC Holdings beat forecasts with a 31 per cent rise in the first quarter profit, bolstered by a surge in income from its core Asian business due to the absence of legal and regulatory expenses borne in the year-ago quarter. Reining in costs has been one of the biggest challenges for HSBC Chief Executive John Flint
The sanctions and military action have disrupted supplies of fertiliser, wheat and other commodities from both Russia and Ukraine.
A video showed members of the Jewish delegation abruptly leave the scene as the audience started applauding the Emir of Qatar.
In implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the follow-up of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, and President of the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation for Humanitarian Works, the Foundation launched the first stages of operating the largest hospital in Shabwa Governorate in Yemen
A Community Development Authority in Dubai-licensed Filipino organisation has pushed back its 124th Philippine Independence Day festivities to June 25 (Saturday), in respect of the 40-day mourning period of the host government, on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.