An HKFP reporter has been attacked by a group of 20 pro-China protesters while reporting on a rally at the Legislative Council.

Reporter Stanley Leung was covering an anti-independence rally outside the Legislative Council Complex on Wednesday, where thousands of pro-government supporters gathered in protest of localist lawmakers Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Leung Chung-hang.

Leung (left) was surrounded by protesters. Photo: Supplied.

Leung was asking questions to a group of protesters, who claimed to come from Dongguan, China. A man then told the person that Leung was interviewing not to say too much. When Leung started taking pictures of the group, the man who gave the warning became hostile against the reporter and asked him why he was taking photos.

Leung, who was wearing his press pass, said he was surrounded by around 20-30 individuals who grabbed his arms and took his camera away. The incident happened at around 10:15am.

Leung (left) was surrounded by protesters. Photo: Supplied.

Leung said the protesters shouted in Cantonese with a Mandarin accent: “Why did you take photos of us?” and “Delete [the photos] now.”

He said that they kept his camera for about a minute as they were trying to figure out how to delete the photos.

The protesters returned the camera to Leung as a police officer pulled him away from the crowd.

According to Leung, the officer told him that the protesters were “rough.” No one was arrested.

The Dongguan group that allegedly turned hostile against Leung. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

Leung later found that the protesters had removed his memory card when they took his camera. He reported the incident to the police, explaining that he did not realise the memory card was stolen until later on. An officer asked him to go to a police station to file a report.

Leung sustained a minor injury from the assault. Photo: HKFP/Stanley Leung.

A spokesperson for Hong Kong Free Press condemns the assault.

Several pro-China groups were present outside the Legislative Council on Wednesday. A group calling itself the Anti-China-Insulting Anti-independence Alliance told HKFP that they had brought 10,000 people to the rally.

Pro-China rally at Legco. Photo: HKFP/Catherine Lai.

Legislative Council President Andrew Leung said on Tuesday that he will defer the oath-taking of Youngspiration’s Yau and Leung until a judicial review by the government is concluded. The duo said that they will try to retake the oath regardless.

Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.