Indonesian Journalist Shot in Eye to Sue Hong Kong Police For 'Justice'

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Indonesian journalist Yuli Riswati, deported from Hong Kong, is shown in an undated photo.
Indonesian journalist Yuli Riswati, deported from Hong Kong, is shown in an undated photo.
Migran Pos

An Indonesian journalist blinded in one eye by a rubber bullet while covering the Hong Kong protests has said she plans to sue the police, as the authorities deported another Indonesian citizen journalist after refusing to renew her visa.

Veby Mega Indah told Stand News that she has decided to sue the Hong Kong Police Force to win justice, not just for herself, but for the people of Hong Kong in the face of widespread police violence.

The Hong Kong Journalists' Association (HKJA) and her lawyers said at the time that Veby was visibly identified as a member of the press and was standing apart from protesters at the time she was hit by a projectile fired at "potentially lethal range" from a police 12-gauge shotgun.

Veby, who wrote for the Hong Kong-based Indonesian news organization SUARA, was likely injured by a bean bag round or a rubber bullet, as spent rounds of both types were found near the scene of her injury, the journalist's lawyers, Vidler & Co, said in a statement to their Facebook page.

Veby had been on the elevated footbridge linking HK Immigration Tower to Wanchai MTR Exit A4, and was wearing a high-visibility vest and helmet emblazoned with the word "Press," with her press credentials clearly on display on a lanyard, the firm said.

The group of journalists she was standing with were also clearly identified, and were standing separately from protesters, it said.

Journalist detained, deported

The news came as authorities in Hong Kong detained and deported Indonesian migrant worker and fellow SUARA writer Yuli Riswati, who also reported on the pro-democracy movement.

"I just arrived in Surabaya," Yuli said in a video message shortly after her arrival on Dec. 2. "I would like to say to all the people who stand with me and support me: thank you for your support."

Yuli was detained by immigration officers despite a request from her employers to extend her work visa, which had expired on July 27.

The Hong Kong Federation of Domestic Workers Unions (FADWU) said the immigration department had treated Yuli's visa issues harshly, given that her employer had continually requested a visa extension to allow her to remain in her job.

"What Yuli faced is unusual practice of the Immigration Department and probably unlawful," FADWU regional coordinator Fish Ip said in a statement.

"It is clearly a political suppression against Yuli for her writing, for her speaking up for the Hong Kong protesters."

The group said Yuli had been persuaded under a stressful situation in immigration detention to withdraw her application for a visa extension and to accept being sent back to Indonesia.

Reported by Woo Hoi-man for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.





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