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TVB moves to protect employees from protest activity

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Hong Kong’s biggest television broadcaster, TVB, has moved to take legal action to protect its employees, triggered by the recent anti-extradition bill protests.

The broadcaster has a temporary injunction against demonstrators who “unlawfully and willfully” assaulted its news crew while they were trying to cover the civil unrest – and also damaged TVB property.

The broadcaster's legal action was reported in both the China Daily newspaper and Hong Kong Free Press website.

The broadcaster stated that the legal action was prompted by the anti-extradition bill protests, reportedly claiming that demonstrators targeted TVB over perceived bias.

“The application for an interlocutory injunction has been necessitated by the recent attacks of TVB news crew and properties, which have posed risks to the safety of its employees and properties,” the company said in a statement.

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“TVB regrets that there have been unfounded allegations of bias in TVB news, which has led to a boycott campaign being launched through various social media against TVB with a view to cause economic harm to it.”

The statement added that TVB has had to deal with attacks on its news crews, in addition to damage to its news vehicles and cameras.

Court documents have revealed that the broadcaster asked the court to restrain any acts of property damage, including “painting words” – in reference to the practice of graffiti by protesters.

TVB also requested the court to prohibit “injuring, assaulting or causing any bodily harm to any employee, including projecting lights on them of such intensity or frequency that it is capable of reducing a viewer’s ability to see”.

The broadcaster’s employees have been the target of numerous acts of vandalism. On 27 June, protesters surrounded a cameraman and shouted insults and shone lights on him. While on 23 September, demonstrators defaced a TVB news camera with spray paint.

Image: Hong Kong Free Press

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