While covering the “re-occupation” protest in Mong Kok on Thursday night, an Apple Daily cameraman was arrested by police after he allegedly assaulted a police officer with his camera and then resisted arrest.
There’s just one problem with this story, told to the press by police: it’s not true. The video above captured by a South China Morning Post reporter paints a very different picture.
What seems to have actually happen is that photographer Wong Chun-lung moved in to capture video of police pushing back protesters when one of the police officers turned around and smacked his head on Wong’s camera.
The videographer was immediately seized, forced to the ground, arrested and led away. Later police released a statement that said Wong had “repeatedly hit an officer’s face” with his camera. Clearly that’s not what happen.
Additionally, moments earlier, Wong’s colleague at Apple Daily was accused of touching a police officer’s gun and threatened with arrest despite the fact that he was holding his camera with both hands and couldn’t possibly have touched the gun.
According to the SCMP, both Next Media — Apple Daily‘s parent company — and The Hongkong Press Photographers Association have expressed anger at the situation. Next Media’s staff union called the arrest unreasonable, while the HkPPA said incidents like this, “affect normal news reporting work … and endanger the safety of journalists.”