Indonesian journalist hit by rubber bullet during Hong Kong protests in stable condition

Ms Veby Mega Indah, who works for Suara, an Indonesian-language newspaper in Hong Kong, was injured in the Wan Chai area.
Ms Veby Mega Indah, who works for Suara, an Indonesian-language newspaper in Hong Kong, was injured in the Wan Chai area.PHOTO: SCMP

HONG KONG - A Hong Kong-based Indonesian journalist who was on Sunday (Sept 29) hit by a rubber bullet while covering a protest is in a stable condition. 

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

“The Indonesian consulate-general has also communicated with Hong Kong authorities for an official explanation of the incident,” said Indonesia’s foreign ministry. 

Footage from a live stream that Ms Veby was running as she was shot showed that police had confronted protesters on a pedestrian footage. Shortly after officers retreated, a protester tossed a glass bottle after them. 

Shots can then be heard and the person holding the camera can be seen moving backwards and the screen goes dark. 

Ms Veby 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, the Hong Kong Journalist Association said in a statement. 

“We deplore the use and threat of violence towards journalists covering events in Hong Kong from any source and call on police and protesters to allow journalists to carry out their job of reporting the facts without risk of serious injury or threats of violence,” it added.

Separately, the Foreign Correspondents Club, Hong Kong also condemned the incident, which it said was one of many incidents of police violence against journalists.

“Footage from the incident shows she was clearly identified as a journalist and that the police officer fired a parting shot from only a few metres away,” the club said.

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 on Monday said they had fired 306 rounds of rubber bullets, 328 rounds of tear gas, 95 beanbag rounds and 79 foam bullets.