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Hong Kong journalist attacked by protesters

Pro-China protesters carry a printout depicting newly elected lawmaker Sixtus Leung as a traitor during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, 26 October 2016
Pro-China protesters carry a printout depicting newly elected lawmaker Sixtus Leung as a traitor during a demonstration outside the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, 26 October 2016

AP Photo/Kin Cheung

This statement was originally published on cpj.org on 27 October 2016.

On October 26, 2016, a Hong Kong journalist was attacked by a group of protesters while covering a rally outside of the Legislative Council building.

Thousands of people, many belonging to pro-Beijing groups, convened to protest two newly elected pro-democracy lawmakers, Yao Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung. When Stanley Leung (unrelated to Sixtus Leung), a reporter for the Hong Kong-based news website Hong Kong Free Press, started to take photos of one of the protesting groups, 20 to 30 individuals from the group surrounded him, grabbed his arm and took his camera away, according to Hong Kong Free Press. The protesters confiscated the memory card before returning the camera to him. A police officer pulled Leung away from the crowd. Leung sustained minor injuries to his hand in the scuffle.

Two weeks earlier, on October 12, during a swearing-in ceremony in the Legislative Council, Yao and Leung modified their oaths and used a derogatory term for China, in an act of protest against Beijing's encroachment on the city's autonomy. The pair's words sparked pro-Beijing groups in Hong Kong to stage large protests demanding that Yao and Leung step down and apologize to the Chinese people, according to news reports.

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