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Hong Kong photographer assaulted by police in mainland China

(IFJ/IFEX) - September 20, 2012 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) in condemning the violence against a Hong Kong newspaper photographer by authorities in Shenzhen, China on September 16.

Felix Wong Chi-Keung, a photographer for the South China Morning Post, was left with a severely bruised, swollen face and a possible fractured nose after police in Shenzhen pushed him to the ground and beat him with batons as he tried to take photos of anti-Japanese protesters attempting to break into a local government building in mainland China.

"I raised my hands and voiced out I'm a journalist when police of Shenzhen rushed out from the Government building. However a policeman ignoring what I said pushed me on the ground. Another five to six policemen immediately beat me up with batons around five to six times until my nose was bleeding," Felix Wong Chi-Keung told the IFJ.

He also sustained bruises over his hands and one of his legs.

"It is totally unacceptable that the police of Shenzhen continuously beat me up even when I cried out I'm a journalist several times," he said.

South China Morning Post Editor-in-Chief, Wang Xiangwei condemned the use of excessive force and said that the newspaper would lodge an official complaint. Other media associations such as the Press Photographers Association and the Hong Kong News Executives' Association also condemned the violence.

"This or any type of violence against a member of the media, while they are reporting in the public interest is an assault on both the victim and press freedom," the IFJ Asia-Pacific office said.

Wong was detained by Beijing police in 2008 during scuffles between police and reporters covering a queue for Olympic tickets. He was subsequently denied entry to Macau on two separate occasions after the incident.

The IFJ urges the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-Ying, to lodge a complaint with the Shenzhen Government.

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