Indonesian journalist hit by rubber bullet covering Hong Kong protest will go blind in right eye: Lawyer

Ms Veby Mega Indah of Suara Hong Kong was hurt while reporting from an overhead bridge in the Wan Chai area on Sept 29, 2019. PHOTO: SCMP

HONG KONG - An Indonesian journalist who was hit by a rubber bullet while covering a protest last week will permanently lose sight in her right eye, her lawyer said on Wednesday (Oct 2).

Ms Veby Mega Indah of Suara Hong Kong, an Indonesian-language newspaper, was hurt on Sunday while reporting from an overhead bridge in the Wan Chai area.

"Doctors treating Ms Indah have today informed her that regrettably the injury she received as a result of being shot by police, will result in permanent blindness in her right eye," her lawyer, Mr Michael Vidler, said in a statement sent to The Straits Times.

"She was informed that the pupil of her eye was ruptured by the force of the impact. The exact percentage of permanent impairment can only be assessed after surgery."

He added that her family had arrived in Hong Kong and was now with her.

Ms Veby will be filing criminal complaints against the Commissioner of Police and the officer who shot her, and will also be filing civil proceedings to seek redress, Mr Vidler had earlier said.

The Indonesian Consulate General has also asked for an official explanation of the event, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Ms Veby had been live-streaming the "global anti-totalitarianism" protest in Wan Chai when police clashed with protesters on the bridge and she was hit.

She had been wearing a high visibility vest with the word "press" written on it, had displayed her press credentials and was wearing a helmet during the incident.

Journalists have been on the receiving end of police force while journalists from outlets perceived to be pro-Beijing are also subjected to routine abuse from protesters.

Hong Kong police said they fired 306 rounds of rubber bullets, 328 rounds of tear gas, 95 beanbag rounds and 79 foam bullets on Sunday.

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