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Hong Kong appeals to Thai government over detention of HK journalist


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Hong Kong appeals to Thai government over detention of HK journalist
Shadow Li
China Daily
Asia News Network
Hong Kong

HONG KONG: -- Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Tuesday expressed concerns over a Hong Kong photo journalist's arrest in Thailand for carrying a bulletproof vest and a helmet while covering the aftermath of the blast in the heart of its capital city.

Speaking before Tuesday's Executive Council meeting, Leung appealed to the Thai government to handle the case with respect to reason as well as the law.

Anthony Kwan Hok-chun, a photographer for the Hong Kong-based Initium Media, was apprehended by Thai police after a ballistic vest and a helmet were found in his carry-on luggage at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday.

The news outlet has sent a staff member to assist Kwan, who has been released on bail of 100,000 Thai baht ($2,820), or HK$21,800, after appearing in military court on Monday.

Lam Yik-fei, head of the photo division of Initium Media, told China Daily that Kwan was exhausted and anxious to come back to Hong Kong.

Kwan was barred from leaving Thailand. He is awaiting his second hearing in court in two weeks.

"We have to meet with the lawyer later today (Tuesday) to make further plans," Lam said. He added that Kwan was worried about the case.

Journalists from all over the world flocked to Thailand last week to report on the bombing at Erawan Shrine, which claimed more than 20 lives including tourists.

According to the country's law, anyone possessing illegal weapons without license will incur imprisonment of up to five years. Under Thailand's Arms Control Act, gas masks, bulletproof vests and helmets are all classified as weapons that need a license.

Over the years, appeals to the Thai authorities to allow journalists to carry personal protection equipment widely used by reporters around the world have proved futile.

In light of the arrest, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand (FCCT) condemned the arrest of Kwan in a statement.

"Body armor and helmets used by journalists are not offensive weapons and should not be treated as such," the statement said. The reporter group said two reporters were shot to death when working in Bangkok in 2010, thus such protection was necessary.

A source at Initium Media said that Thai policemen, who cannot speak English, took Kwan into custody right away. The photo journalist was not asked to make a deposition until the next day, when the FCCT hired a lawyer and a translator to assist.

The source added that the stranded reporter was asked to make another deposition on Tuesday after he appeared in court on Monday.

Leung said the government has expressed its concerns over the case to the Chinese embassy in Thailand and already requested assistance.

Leung reminded Hong Kong people to check the local laws before they commenced trips outside the city.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/breakingnews/Hong-Kong-appeals-to-Thai-government-over-detentio-30267491.html

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-- The Nation 2015-08-26

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So it's ok for a Thai retired Police Commander to carry a loaded pistol onto a plane and Thailand think nothing is wrong. Misunderstanding.

But when a journalist carries a bullet proof vest and helmet because a bomb goes off in central Bangkok and they are considered offensive weapons.

Seems legit.

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Meanwhile streets of Thailand is floating with illegal guns, crazy drunk drivers, corrupt criminal police and drugdealers en mass ...

Thailand really know how to make enemies for them self ... Who is gonna be left to sleep with : N. Korea and (maybe) China ... Oh well, good luck with that ...

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The border market near where I live (on the Thai side) has a big stall selling all sorts of military type gear including scores of helmets. How does leaving the country with one helmet and one flak jacket threaten the security of the nation ? I bet this is getting big coverage in Hong Kong where lots of potential Chinese tourists come from. Yet another shot in the foot !

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Meanwhile streets of Thailand is floating with illegal guns, crazy drunk drivers, corrupt criminal police and drugdealers en mass ...

Thailand really know how to make enemies for them self ... Who is gonna be left to sleep with : N. Korea and (maybe) China ... Oh well, good luck with that ...

Quite correct. Not only the above but the bombing could not have been carried out by any of the known terrorist groups, IS, All Quada etc., as it is fairly wide known that these people use Thailand as their preferred holiday destination and they are not about to screw that up.

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A single license for these items to a journalist in the past 27 years has NEVER been issued.

Government authorities have claimed jounalists have never made a license request. Yet during the 2010 PTP anti-government protests and the 2013 PDRC anti-government protests, the demonstrators wore body armour unimpeded by regulation while reporters were only allowed nonballistic clothing.

Find more details in this 2014 article. http://www.establishmentpost.com/thailands-arms-control-act-lost-in-translation/

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Considering that there were a number of Hong Kong citizens among the blast victims, being so harsh with someone from Hong Kong trying to protect themselves--not carrying any kind of weapon--seems about as undiplomatic as you can get. You'd think international relations would trump the concerns of such a petty case.

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Meanwhile streets of Thailand is floating with illegal guns, crazy drunk drivers, corrupt criminal police and drugdealers en mass ...

Thailand really know how to make enemies for them self ... Who is gonna be left to sleep with : N. Korea and (maybe) China ... Oh well, good luck with that ...

The Army sleeps with them, who else would like to join .....

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You would get less if you murdered a Farang, or raped a village girl, how backward this country is, and 30 years ago when i first went to Thailand i thought that it was backward then, not much has changed on the IQ level since

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