Hong Kong journalist granted bail, trip for fellowship

HONG KONG: The head of Hong Kong’s largest group of journalists was released on bail on Thursday and allowed to leave the city for overseas research two weeks after he was arrested for allegedly obstructing officers. police while reporting.
Ronson Chan, host Hong Kong Journalists Association, pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstructing police. A sentence can be up to two years in prison.
Chan was granted bail and left Hong Kong to study a PhD program at University of Oxford at the end of this month on condition that he update Hong Kong police on his address and mobile phone number while in the UK.
He was arrested while reporting on a landlord meeting in Mong Kok district earlier this month with a colleague.
Police say the two are behaving in a suspicious manner and have been asked to show proof of identity. Chan was arrested after being uncooperative and refusing to present his identity card.
His arrest alarmed the city’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club, which said it “supports the right of journalists to report without fear of harassment and arrest”. The club also called on the authorities to exercise “transparency and care” in handling the case.
Asked on Thursday outside court about his thoughts on press freedom in Hong Kong, Chan said he could not discuss the details of the case, but said that “everyone in Hong Kong, if you try to observe what is happening, then you can get the answer. ”
Hong Kong, once a bastion of press freedom in Asia, has since been in decline after a tough national security law aimed to quell dissent. imposed on the city. The media critical of the government, such as Apple Daily and Stand News, closed after police raided their offices and arrested executives and journalists.

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