Hong Kong court sentences journalist to 5 days in jail for obstructing police officer

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The West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court sentenced Ronson Chan, the head of Hong Kong Journalists Association on Monday to five days’ imprisonment. This was reported by the Hong Kong Free Press. The official opinions won’t be released until 2024, as this is a magisterial decision. Chan was arrested in May for allegedly refusing to cooperate in the presentation of his identity card. He pleaded guilty to the charge in May. Chan claimed that he feared privacy breaches because his identity card was previously broadcast on a live streaming. However, Magistrate Leung dismissed the possibility that a police officer had breached Chan’s privacy at that time as the officer did not have equipment that would have exposed Chan’s ID card. Leung said that the fine or community service would not be enough to reflect the seriousness of Chan’s crime. She ruled that Chan deserved a brief period of imprisonment. While Leung did not find Chan remorseful for his actions, she reduced Chan’s sentence from seven to five days in light of Chan’s good character and his contributions to the Hong Kong media industry.

Chan’s sentence has fueled concern about press freedom in Hong Kong. In July, the Hong Kong Journalists Association reported that Hong Kong’s score for press freedom had fallen four times over four years. It also stated that press freedom in Hong Kong has

deteriorate

d since 2019.