The police have said that they will investigate an incident whereby an officer displayed a journalist’s Hong Kong identity card and press pass in front of a live streaming camera.

The stunt occurred as the officer was conducting a stop and search of Stand News Deputy Assignment Editor Ronson Chan at a protest on Thursday. Privacy Commissioner Stephen Wong has said that there were adequate reasons for his office to launch an investigation.

Police Public Relations Branch Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen said on Friday that what the officer did “was not right.”

Kwok Ka-chuen. File Photo:

“The police will actively seek to understand and investigate the incident. We will co-operate with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data’s investigation if necessary,” he said.

He said he would not comment further on the case until the investigation was completed.

Stand News journalist Ronson Chan’s Hong Kong identity card displayed by a police officer in front of a live streaming camera. Photo: Stand News.

Kwok said the police respect press freedom: “I hope we will continue to adopt a mutual respect approach and work together on the ground.”

‘Unique’ call signs

RTHK found that multiple police officers had been wearing the same operational call sign on their uniforms, although the codes are supposed to be unique in order to help identify individual officers.

Police Senior Superintendent of the Operations Branch Wong Wai-shun claimed this was a mistake, and he has told relevant departments how to use the call signs correctly.

“I thank reporters for their questions. Formal and timely questions can clarify misunderstandings and we can improve our arrangements,” he said.

A police operational call sign. Photo: Citizen News.

Large scale protests have continued across the city for more than six months. Initially against a now-axed extradition law plan, the protests have morphed into a wider movement demanding amnesty for protesters, an independent investigation into police behaviour and universal suffrage.

The police have arrested 336 people since Monday, including 244 males and 92 females between 12 and 54 years old, on suspicion of unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, obstruction of police, disorderly behaviour in a public place, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, among others.

Photo: Viola Kam/United Social Press.

Since Monday, police have used 76 tear gas rounds, 33 rubber bullets, 16 bean bag rounds, and 12 sponge grenades. A total of 13 police officers have been injured during the unrest.

Demonstrations are set to continue throughout the festive period, with a large, annual pro-democracy protest set for January 1.

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Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.