Date
23 October 2017
The Hong Kong Journalists Association told the High Court that the government decision violates press freedom and the Basic Law. Photo: HKEJ
The Hong Kong Journalists Association told the High Court that the government decision violates press freedom and the Basic Law. Photo: HKEJ

Journalists go to court to lift curbs on CE election coverage

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has filed a case before the High Court to contest a government decision barring online news media reporters from gaining access to the chief executive election venue on Sunday.

In applying for a judicial review on Thursday, the group said the order issued by the Information Services Department (ISD) violates press freedom and the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The journalists said online news media staff with valid HKJA membership should be allowed to enter the press area at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center election venue on Sunday.

The HKJA also posted on its Facebook page the reactions of all the three chief election candidates regarding the issue.

John Tsang was quoted as saying that he hoped the ISD could make the appropriate arrangements for online news media.

Carrie Lam said authorities should consider allowing “professional online news media” to enter the election venue.

Woo Kwok-hing said the government should never impose a ban across the board.

The ISD believes its decision to refuse entry to representatives of online news media will be upheld as a study on whether such media should be included in the government’s “registered or licensed mass news media organizations” is still ongoing.

The case is scheduled to be heard by Mr Justice Godfrey Lam on Friday afternoon.

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EL/AC/CG

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