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Men with poles are seen after attacking journalists and anti-extradition bill demonstrators at a train station in Hong Kong on July 22, 2019. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

Journalists attacked by counterprotesters in Hong Kong

July 22, 2019 12:45 PM ET

Taipei, July 22, 2019 -- A group of masked individuals beat journalists, demonstrators, and passersby with sticks and metal rods at Hong Kong's Yuen Long metro station after an anti-extradition bill protest concluded last night, according to news reports. At least 45 people were injured in the attacks, according to those reports.

At least two journalists suffered injuries, including Stand News reporter Gwyneth Ho, who was hit in the head and back and streamed her own assault via Facebook, and a reporter from NOW TV, whose camera was smashed by the assailants, according to a spokesperson from the Hong Kong Journalists Association, a nongovernmental trade union, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, and news reports.

No arrests were made following the attacks, according to those news reports.

"It's difficult to reconcile Hong Kong's reputation as a place for press freedom and rule of law when police take no action against thugs who beat journalists and demonstrators," said Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator, in New York. "With so much of the attack caught on video, it will be inexcusable if the police do not follow up with arrests and prosecution."

Local press groups the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, and Independent Commentators Association released a joint statement condemning the attacks and demanding immediate police action.

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