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Hong Kong protests: Journalists hold 'silent march' against alleged police violence

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Hong Kong protests: Journalists hold 'silent march' against alleged police violence
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Police in Hong Kong braced again on Sunday as tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Sha Tin, a town between Hong Kong island and the border with China.

Protests that began in the heart of the financial center over a proposed extradition law, that could have seen fugitives handed over to mainland courts, have swelled outwards into surrounding neighborhoods to include broader demands for democratic reform and concerns that Hong Kong's freedoms are being eroded.

Sweltering in heat of 32 degrees Celcius, protesters wore surgical masks as protection against possible police use of pepper spray or tear gas. Blocking roads with metal barriers and waving colonial-era or American flags, they carried banners calling for Hong Kong's independence from China.

Seven Hong Kong media associations also held a silent march in Hong Kong against alleged police violence.

Several hundred reporters marched from a park in Admiralty near the Central Government Offices to the police headquarters, where they held up signs reading "Stop police violence, defend press freedom" and "Protect our fourth estate."

Many Hong Kong reporters claim that during their reporting of recent large-scale protests they have been driven away from events by police without justifiable reasons, as well as being pushed, subject to foul language and was hit by batons.

"We are running out of tolerance and then silence is not an option. For the past few weeks, our reporting of journalists have been unjustifiably obstructed by police officers during protests," said Chris Yeung, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists' Association.

March organisers said that if the safety of journalists were threatened it would impact on their ability to monitor the exercise of public power by the police.