The local government has not intentionally banned any reporters from outside Macau from entering the city to report on the aftermath of the Typhoon Hato disaster, Victor Chan Chi Ping, the government’s chief spokesman, said on Tuesday, adding the government’s position was to welcome all non-local journalists to come to the city for news gathering.
Chan made the remarks during a special press conference about the government’s ongoing disaster relief measures for the Hato aftermath.
According to The Macau Post Daily, five media workers from Hong Kong – including at least one press photographer – were reportedly denied entry on Saturday when they arrived in Macau for the purpose of reporting on the aftermath of Hato and taking photos. According to Hong Kong media reports, Macau immigration officers told the quintet, who reportedly did not travel together, that their entry would pose a threat to Macau’s public security.
Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak told reporters on Sunday that the immigration officers barred the five persons from entering Macau in accordance with the Internal Security Framework Law.
Wong said at that time that the immigration officers did not take the five media workers’ profession into account when they were denied entry. Wong said that every country or region has its own immigration policies, adding that Macau immigration officers would bar, in accordance with the law, anyone considered to have an adverse impact on Macau’s public security.
When asked by the media about the case, Chan said that both Wong and Unitary Police Service (SPU) Commissioner-General Ma Io Kun had already clearly explained the matter, reiterating that the local immigration officers did not take the five persons’ profession into consideration when they were individually denied entry. “The reports that Hong Kong reporters were denied entry [to Macau] are not true,” he said.
Chan said that the government welcomed all journalists from outside Macau to come to the city for news gathering. He said that many reporters from outside Macau had entered the city and reported news over the past week, adding that all of them had had full freedom to interview people and report news without any restrictions.