Public broadcaster RTHK has been “strongly advised” by the Communications Authority to observe the television programme code more closely after a TV host criticised a magistrate who convicted a woman of assaulting a police officer with her breasts.

The guest host made the remarks on RTHK’s television programme Pentaprism, which was broadcast on TVB’s Jade Channel on August 3, 2015. According to the document released by the Communications Authority, the guest hostess said that the accusation made towards the woman was “against common sense” and that the incident was a result of improper law enforcement by the police.

She also criticised an alleged “lack of gender sensitivity” in the magistrate’s judgment and a “failure to take into account the woman’s indecent assault complaint.”

RTHK. Photo: Wikicommons.

Following the airing of the programme, two members of the public complained that “the remarks of the guest hostess were groundless, biased towards women and unfair to the magistrate concerned, and would affect the enforcement of law by the police”.

The remarks made were in relation to a case last July where a 30-year-old woman was sentenced to three months and 15 days’ imprisonment for “assaulting a police officer with her breasts” during an anti-parallel trading protest in Yuen Long.

Ng Lai-ying was arrested during an anti-parallel trading protest in Yuen long.

The Communications Authority ruled that the programme, as one that presented personal views, failed to present an opposing stance that was different from that of the host’s, or give a sufficiently broad spectrum of opinions on the matter. It deemed the complaints as justified and strongly advised RTHK to follow the television Programme Code.

TVB also received an instance of “strong advice” for reporting wrongful information during the Late News and Overnight News TV shows. The information related to the results of the District Council elections last November.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.