Macau has barred four Hong Kong journalists from entering its territory on Saturday, with border control officials reportedly citing national security concerns for their action.
The media personnel were refused entry after they had traveled to Macau to cover the territory’s clean-up efforts after Typhoon Hato, reports said.
The four who were turned away include two reporters from Apple Daily, one journalist from online portal hk01 and one photographer from the South China Morning Post.
The journalists were hoping to cover the aftermath of Hato but were denied entry by Macau’s immigration officials on the grounds that they posed a risk to internal security, RTHK reports.
The Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and the Hong Kong Journalists Association issued a joint statement on Saturday, expressing deep regret over Macau’s apparent ban on the four Hong Kong journalists.
The associations urged the Macau government to respect press freedom and to not “arbitrarily restrict the rights of entry and exit of journalists in Macau”.
Ma lo-kun, Macau’s commissioner of the Public Security Police, claimed in a press conference on Saturday that they were not aware that those refused entry were journalists.
He said the refusal of entry had nothing to do with the visitors’ occupations.
Hong Kong’s Security Bureau, meanwhile, said immigration authorities make their decisions keeping the laws in mind and that they deal with each person as an individual case.
The Hong Kong government will not and should not interfere in the matter, it said.
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