Chinese state media outlet Global Times has reported one of its journalists had been seized and bound in an 'arrest' by anti-Beijing Hong Kong protesters which had occupied the city's international airport.
Global Times' editor-in-chief Hu Xijin made an appeal on social media Tuesday for the protesters to release the reporter, saying he was only there to cover the demonstrations and must not be harmed. He also called on western journalists to intervene in the situation.
Hu Xijin confirmed the identity of the man seen in the video being bound with multiple zip ties with his arms placed above his head.
The protesters surrounded the mainland-based reporter as if a high value detainee, accusing him of wrongdoing.
Fu Guohao, reporter of GT website is being seized by demonstrators at HK airport. I affirm this man being tied in this video is the reporter himself. He has no other task except for reporting. I sincerely ask the demonstrators to release him. I also ask for help of West reporters pic.twitter.com/sbFb0L3s92— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 13, 2019
The Hong Kong airport has been reportedly completely retaken by police less than an hour after reports of riot police storming the airport first hit the Internet. Few injuries have been reported - but many have been arrested. The Guardian reports that the police arrested more than 20 protesters.
The major Chinese daily editor wrote:
Fu Guohao, reporter of GT website is being seized by demonstrators at HK airport. I affirm this man being tied in this video is the reporter himself. He has no other task except for reporting. I sincerely ask the demonstrators to release him. I also ask for help of West reporters.
CNN described the circumstances of the journalist's detention as follows:
Hong Kong TV channel iCable, a CNN affiliate, reported that the man was wearing a yellow high visibility vest and that protesters were demanding to see his press ID, while shouting "gangster" at him.
According to local reports, protesters pinned him to the ground, seized his belongings and draped an "I love HK Police" T-shirt over him, as others tried to step in and stop the violence.
Though this man was eventually evacuated and treated by paramedics, Global Times insisted their journalist was simply reporting on the riots when he was captured and brutalized.
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Global Times has said in a follow-up statement the journalist is currently in the hospital and they are evaluating the extent of his injuries.
GT reporter Fu Guohao has been rescued by police and sent to the hospital. We're still learning about his injury conditions.Thanks for everyone's concern. I'd like to take this opportunity to condemn all acts of violence against journalist. All reporters in HK, please be careful. https://t.co/07aF0c69m7— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 13, 2019