HONG KONG, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Court of First Instance of Hong Kong's High Court on Monday dismissed the judicial review lodged by the Hong Kong Journalists Association about "the police hindering journalistic activities" during the social unrest last year.
The court said when facilitating lawful journalistic activities, the police have to strike a fair balance with the statutory duties in accordance with related laws.
Although the police have a duty to ensure journalists' safety and their reasonable access and uninhibited reporting "first-hand," the police must have regard to other considerations such as the duty to maintain law and order, the lawfulness of the conduct of the protesters and journalists, whether any violence was used, and if so the degree of violence used, by the protesters, and all other relevant circumstances on the ground, according to the judgment.
Expressing welcome to the judgment, the police in a statement stressed the respect to press freedom and journalists' right of reporting and the understanding of the need of journalists to report and film at the scene.
The police will continue to facilitate journalists' reporting work, including the deployment of Force Media Liaison Cadre to coordinate at the scene, without compromising operational efficiency, a police spokesman said.
The police will also continue the communication with the media industry with a view to enabling both sides to perform respective functions, he added. Enditem