The Hong Kong Journalists Association has condemned the police for “blocking” court entrances as seven police officers involved in the Ken Tsang Kin-chiu assault case left the District Court on Tuesday night.

The HKJA said that pro-democracy protesters had marched towards the the defendants as they were leaving the courthouse. In their efforts to protect the men, some officers had blocked the entrance to the courthouse preventing journalists and citizens from entering. As a result, a number of reporters missed an opportunity to photograph the seven men leaving court.

Ken Tsang. Photo: Todd Darling/HKFP.

Citing the Police General Orders, HKJA said that officers should “not block camera lenses” and must “facilitate the work of the news media as much as possible and accord media representatives consideration and courtesy.” The watchdog said they were “strongly dissatisfied” with the police, accusing them of violating the law.

Hong Kong Journalists Association statement. Photo: HKJA, via Facebook.

The seven officers stand accused of beating up Civic Party member Ken Tsang during the pro-democracy Occupy protests. The trial began last Wednesday at the District Court. Tsang was filmed allegedly being kicked and punched by the men at Tamar, Admiralty in October 2014.

The men were charged with wounding and striking with intent to do grievous bodily harm, whilst one was charged with an extra count of common assault. The police officers have all pleaded not guilty.

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Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.