MEDIA
10/27/2014 01:07 pm ET Updated Oct 27, 2014

Journalists Manhandled By Pro-Government Demonstrators In Hong Kong

Three journalists were manhandled with varying degrees of severity amid the ongoing "Occupy Central" movement in Hong Kong, Reuters reported on Saturday.

The incident was sparked by growing tensions between largely peaceful pro-democracy protestors demanding open elections in Hong Kong and pro-government supporters tired of the unwanted disturbances in the city.

Close to Hong Kong's Star Ferry Pier, a reporter and cameraman for local television station TVB were confronted, verbally accosted and violently shoved by a group of hostile pro-government demonstrators wearing blue ribbons -- a statement of opposition to the yellow ribbons donned by the Occupy movement. Wong Wing-yin, a RTHK reporter, was hospitalized after she was thrown to the grown and kicked by "anti-Occupy" protestors.

China has long been one of the most stringent countries in the world when it comes to media freedoms, ranked in the bottom 10 on Reporters Without Borders' 2013 World Press Freedom Index. But in June 2014, the government cracked down even further on the media, forcing journalists to ask their employers for permission before taking on important investigative assignments.

"China (173rd, +1) shows no sign of improving," wrote Reporters Without Borders in its study. "Its prisons still hold many journalists and netizens, while increasingly unpopular Internet censorship continues to be a major obstacle to access to information."

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