Ronson Chan, in gray mask, outside a police station in Hong Kong on Monday.



{Photograph}:

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HONG KONG—Police on Monday charged the highest of Hong Kong’s greatest journalist group of workers with obstructing police officers, the highest-profile prosecution of a press worker in recent months following a sustained crackdown on the the town’s pro-democracy media.

The cost in opposition to Ronson Chan, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, comes about two weeks after his arrest while covering a meeting of house owners of a housing belongings throughout the northern Hong Kong neighborhood of Mong Kok.

Police at the time accused Mr. Chan of obstructing officers and disorderly conduct, and discussed he used to be as soon as uncooperative and refused to provide his identification when approached by means of officers. The cost carries a maximum prison time frame of two years.

Mr. Chan, deputy activity editor at independent knowledge outlet Channel C, is on account of move away Hong Kong for the U.K. at the terminate of the month to purpose a journalism fellowship at some stage in the Reuters Make at Oxford School.

Mr. Chan used to be as soon as previously an editor at the most popular pro-democracy knowledge web site Stand Knowledge, an outlet close the lid down following a police raid of its newsroom in December and the arrests of seven people attached to the web site. Mr. Chan wasn’t among those arrested.

Mr. Chan’s case is on account of be heard at a Hong Kong magistrates’ court docket on Thursday, police discussed. Mr. Chan advised The Wall Aspect street Mag that he used to be as soon as discussing the fee together with his criminal skilled, and discussed police didn’t sift out his passport. In a video posted to Channel C’s YouTube internet web page, Mr. Chan discussed he didn’t know when asked whether or not or no longer he thought police were searching for to avoid wasting you him from leaving Hong Kong and declined to commentary further.

He moreover criticized his initial arrest, saying that he would not have were given been arrested for equivalent conduct even in mainland China.

The cost in opposition to Mr. Chan comes for the reason that journalists’ association and other media groups face emerging energy throughout the wake of the 2020 National Protection Regulation. The law used to be as soon as imposed by means of Beijing to ship order to the town following a wave of sometimes-violent pro-democracy protests the year faster than, alternatively rights groups have were given discussed it’s been used as a tool to squash unfastened speech and adjacent opposition media stores.

From the Archives

In June 2021, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid Apple Workaday printed its ultimate model faster than shutting operations amid China’s crackdown on dissent. WSJ’s Elaine Yu explains why the closure marks the beginning of upper uncertainty for press freedoms throughout the the town. {Photograph}: Jerome Favre/EPA/Shutterstock

The law offered a clampdown on the the town’s pro-democracy media, in conjunction with the shutdowns of Stand Knowledge and Apple Workaday, the most popular pro-democracy newspaper primarily based by means of media tycoon Jimmy Lai. The news outlet Citizen Knowledge voluntarily ceased operations in January shortly after the raid of Stand Knowledge.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association has time and again clashed with police as it voiced opposition to the town’s media crackdown. The group has moreover faced attacks by means of the town’s pro-Beijing press and Hong Kong’s business union registry has sought additional information about the association’s movements.

Earlier this year, the group held a meeting of its membership to speak about just about steps, in conjunction with whether or not or no longer it’ll must observe other civil society organizations in disbanding. The group ultimately decided to continue alternatively amended its constitution to she had it made it easier to disband.

Some other journalist group of workers throughout the the town, Hong Kong’s Global Correspondents’ Club, voted earlier this year to scrap a exceptional journalism award after judges voted to provide a couple of citations to Stand Knowledge. The club discussed that proceeding with the award might simply violate the law.

Write to Dan Strumpf at [email protected]

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Appeared throughout the September 20, 2022, print model as ‘Hong Kong Charges Remarkable Journalist.’

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