Hong Kong journalists kicked out of APEC summit for ‘screaming’ at Aquino (video)

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APEC reportersHong Kong reporters have been removed from a press conference at the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia, and their press passes taken away for allegedly “screaming” questions at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III which has been perceived as “security threat” by organisers.

Despite protests from Hong Kong’s main journalist group, President Aquino’s spokesman Ricky Carandang said the journalists had “crossed an ethical boundary” by aggressively questioning him about the Manila hostage siege in 2010.

Reporters from Now TV, RTHK and Commercial Radio were questioning Aquino in a non-restricted area of the Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua on October 6 at about 2pm when the incident took place. He was asked if he would meet Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and apologise to the families of the victims of the Manila hostage crisis three years ago. He did not reply to the questions.

TV footage showed an APEC staff member telling a reporter: “You know that decency includes not screaming… Now, out.” The reporter’s press pass was then confiscated.

Another APEC staff member told the reporters: “You ambushed one of our visitors.” The passes of the other two reporters and two cameramen were then taken away. The APEC staff did not say if they had been acting on the orders of the Philippine authorities or summit host Indonesia. Another reporter, cameraman and two technicians from Now TV who were not there at the time later found their passes had been cancelled when they were unable to get into the venue. At least nine media staff from the three stations were affected.

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan said the “rudeness” of the APEC staff had stifled press freedom. “Whether they’re loud or not, it’s very subjective. Even if they were loud, it doesn’t mean they were impolite,” Sham said. “This has deprived Hongkongers of media reports on the rest of the summit.”

BACKGROUND: Seven Hong Kong tourists and their guide were killed and several others hurt when a sacked Manila policeman took them hostage at gunpoint aboard their tour bus in the Philippine capital in 2010. A bungled rescue saw the gunman shot dead by police.

Video: Courtesy South China Morning Post

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hong Kong reporters have been removed from a press conference at the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia, and their press passes taken away for allegedly “screaming” questions at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III which has been perceived as “security threat” by organisers.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

APEC reportersHong Kong reporters have been removed from a press conference at the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bali, Indonesia, and their press passes taken away for allegedly “screaming” questions at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III which has been perceived as “security threat” by organisers.

Despite protests from Hong Kong’s main journalist group, President Aquino’s spokesman Ricky Carandang said the journalists had “crossed an ethical boundary” by aggressively questioning him about the Manila hostage siege in 2010.

Reporters from Now TV, RTHK and Commercial Radio were questioning Aquino in a non-restricted area of the Bali International Convention Center in Nusa Dua on October 6 at about 2pm when the incident took place. He was asked if he would meet Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and apologise to the families of the victims of the Manila hostage crisis three years ago. He did not reply to the questions.

TV footage showed an APEC staff member telling a reporter: “You know that decency includes not screaming… Now, out.” The reporter’s press pass was then confiscated.

Another APEC staff member told the reporters: “You ambushed one of our visitors.” The passes of the other two reporters and two cameramen were then taken away. The APEC staff did not say if they had been acting on the orders of the Philippine authorities or summit host Indonesia. Another reporter, cameraman and two technicians from Now TV who were not there at the time later found their passes had been cancelled when they were unable to get into the venue. At least nine media staff from the three stations were affected.

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan said the “rudeness” of the APEC staff had stifled press freedom. “Whether they’re loud or not, it’s very subjective. Even if they were loud, it doesn’t mean they were impolite,” Sham said. “This has deprived Hongkongers of media reports on the rest of the summit.”

BACKGROUND: Seven Hong Kong tourists and their guide were killed and several others hurt when a sacked Manila policeman took them hostage at gunpoint aboard their tour bus in the Philippine capital in 2010. A bungled rescue saw the gunman shot dead by police.

Video: Courtesy South China Morning Post

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