Hong Kong’s Registry of Trade Unions (RTU) has launched a probe into the city’s largest press group, asking them to provide answers how certain events they held were relevant to their objectives.

A source familiar with the matter told HKFP that the group received a letter from the RTU several days ago, ordering them to provide the requested information by February 4.

Hong Kong Journalists Association. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The RTU made the request after receiving complaints.

The list of events included movie screenings and book launches. The association was also asked about social media posts during the anti-extradition bill protests and unrest, and how they were relevant to HKJA’s objectives.

The source also said that the RTU did not ask for membership information or financial records, as other local media reported. Since the HKJA is registered under the RTU, the authorities already have access to the group’s accounts.

Security chief criticism

The HKJA was criticised by Secretary for Security Chris Tang in September last year. Tang accused it accused it of “infiltrating” campuses to “rope in” student journalists as members.

HKJA chair Ronson Chan File photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

The security chief also said that the group should publicise its list of members and the organisations they work for in order to “dispel doubts.”

The association had since hit back at the criticism, saying that it was “factually wrong,” and that Tang’s suggestion to make public membership information may be a violation of the Privacy Ordinance.

HKFP has reached out to the RTU for comment.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.