12/11/2010, 00.00
CHINA - HONG KONG
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Journalists attacked in front of the house of activist arrested over the melamine scandal

A group of reporters in Hong Kong were beaten and insulted by 40 district guards under the indifferent gaze of the police. The journalists were reporting on the family of Zhao Lianhai, in prison since 11 November for mobilizing families, victims of poisoned milk.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Attacks against journalists in front of the house of Zhao Lianhai, the activist sentenced last November 11 for helping to mobilise families of victims of the melamine milk scandal, continue. Yesterday, 40 neighborhood guards attacked beating and insulting four reporters from Hong Kong sent on the spot to interview the activist’s family.

Teresa Wong Wai-Piu, RTHK television correspondent in Hong Kong, says that she and her colleagues were beaten for no reason, as soon as they turned on the cameras to start filming the report. "For several months now - points out Wong – the violence neighborhood guards outside Zhao’s house had been on the increase." The reporter emphasizes the indifference of the police who witnessed the scene without intervening.

The attack prompted protests from the government of Hong Kong, which through its spokesman called for more safety for journalists, who should not be treated violently. Franklin Wong Wah-kay, director of broadcasting in Hong Kong, said: "It '' is unacceptable that journalists are attacked for no reason while they are working on news coverage considered normal."

Meanwhile, there is no news of Zhao Lianhai, who disappeared after his sentence, although the newspapers in Beijing in recent days had announced his eventual release on health grounds. Last week, a state-owned newspaper in Guangdong, the Time Weekly, commended Zhao for his commitment to the local population.

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