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Hundreds protest beating of Hong Kong journalists in China

Gaea Times
September 13, 2009

HONG KONG - Hundreds of people marched in Hong Kong Sunday to protest the beating by police of three journalists from the city covering unrest in the western Chinese city of Urumqi.

Organisers said around 700 people took part in the demonstration over the incident nine days ago. Police did not immediately give an estimate for the crowd size.

Three television journalists from Hong Kong were kicked, punched, hit with batons and detained for hours by police in Urumqi as they covered ethnic unrest in China’s Xinjiang province.

Officials later accused the journalists of inciting protesters and refusing to show their identity documents to police.

Mak Yin-ting, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, told Sunday’s gathering that Chinese officials had “crossed the line” and must account publicly for their actions.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, has a free press and enjoys freedom of speech as well as political and judicial autonomy denied to people elsewhere in mainland China.

Tensions between Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighur and Han Chinese residents climaxed in July with bloody clashes in Urumqi that left at least 197 dead and more than 1,000 injured.

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