Hong Kong police have formally arrested a journalist accused of refusing an order to stop filming the arrest of two women during a mass protest in Mong Kok in May.

The journalist from online media outlet Ben Yu Entertainment, identified by police only as a 26-year-old female surnamed “Ho,” was allegedly filming the arrest of two women at the public toilets on Sai Yee Street. Ho was arrested for obstructing police after she refused to stop doing so.

Photo: Benjamin Yuen/United Social Press.

“The officer warned the woman to stop, but she refused to cooperate,” a statement read.

During the incident, officers pepper-sprayed Ho and snatched her camera away after she refused to stop the recording. The reporter, also known as “KY,” told the press that officers then subdued her until she lost consciousness. She was arrested and later released on bail pending charges.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association expressed “shock” at the incident in a statement released at the time.

Ho was again arrested in Tsuen Wan on Thursday morning after the Department of Justice decided to charge her with “obstructing the police in due execution of their duty,” according to Ben Yu Entertainment on Facebook.

She was released on bail after around eight hours in custody, a spokesperson for Ben Yu Entertainment told HKFP. Her case will be heard at Kowloon City Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Photo: Kevin Cheng/United Social Press.

Police were deployed on Mothers’ Day after people gathered to chant protest slogans and sing songs at shopping malls across several districts. Officers were seen cordoning off people, forcing them to squat and repeatedly deploying pepper spray. The cordoned-off crowds included those wearing press vests.

Footage from the day also showed police ordering reporters present to stop filming and verbally intimidating them. A total of 236 people were arrested.

Ho’s arrest comes just two days after a TV documentary producer was arrested for allegedly using licence plate records to trace the perpetrators of the Yuen Long mob attacks for a programme on RTHK, the city’s public broadcaster.

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Rhoda Kwan

Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.