Battleground for freedom and democracy

was a photo exhibition in the premises of Blank Space in down-town Oslo. A total of 42 photographs by a number of photojournalists working in Hong Kong were on display. The working conditions for these photojournalists are nothing short of extremely difficult, as they operate where riot police confronts front line protesters. The photos in this article were taken by Brother David.

All available seats were taken when the exhibition opened on 28 February. After several opening speeches there as a panel discussion led by Kristoffer Rønneberg of Aftenposten, a leading Norwegian newspaper. Though still a young man, Rønneberg is something of a veteran Hong Kong reporter in the Norwegian press as he has e.g. covered the dramatic events in Hong Kong through a number of assignments in the Fragrant Harbour city. The audience were told the story of the deterioration of human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong, with an emphasis on the worsening working conditions for the photojournalists. Their work, which notably includes documentation of un-proportional acts of police violence, is of utmost importance: in reality no branch of the government are taking responsibility for overseeing a police force that has completely abandoned its mission as an organization which should safe-guard the public, particularly when the people of Hong Kong exercise their freedom as laid out in the Basic Law.

The panel included two award winning photojournalists, Laurel Chor and Kyrre Lien. They gave vivid personal accounts on the increasing difficulty they face when carrying out their job in Hong Kong, while at the same time their work’s significance is growing month by month. The panel was supplemented by Ted Hui, who framed the daring performance of the photojournalists in the perspective of Hong Kongers. Ted Hui is an elected member to Hong Kong’s Legislative Council.

On 2 March the Hong Kong Journalists Association published an open letter to Hong Kong’s Police Commissioner in which they pleaded that the police must cease interfering in the work of journalists and immediately end acts violence directed at reporters. Too often reporters and photojournalists have fallen victim to indiscriminate use of pepper spray. The police force denies allegations that they target journalists, however, it is obvious that this is not the reality as experienced by Hong Kong’s brave reporters.

The original version of this article was written in Norwegian, and posted online on 4 March.

Published by melsomblogg

Jeg skriver om ting jeg ser og hører, som andre også ser og hører. Som regel vet jeg i utgangspunktet ikke mer om temaene enn hvem som helst. Men jeg prøver å gjøre en innsats for å se forbi den første innskytelsen -men anstrengelsen vil nok være suboptimal fra tid til annen.

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