Protesters block an aisle at the departure area of the Hong Kong International Airport’s Terminal 1 in the evening of Aug 13, 2019. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

Violent attacks on a reporter for the Global Times by rioters at Hong Kong International Airport on Tuesday night ignited strong condemnation from the international community.

“I saw the entire footage (of the abuse and assault of the reporter) and could not believe what the rioters have done to Fu Guohao, a Chinese civilian who was legally doing his job,” said Ben Zhang, a San Francisco Bay Area resident. “The protesters are so brutal, irrational and inhumane. What an irony that it’s this group of people who have been vocalizing their so-called pursuit of rule of law. They are a total failure.”

Violent activists bound the hands of Fu Guohao, the reporter for the Global Times website, accusing him of posing as a reporter. They beat Fu, “leading to multiple injuries”, according to a statement by the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.

Any action paired with violence or breach of the law is unacceptable, said Li Fu, a professor at Portland State University, Oregon. “Stability and prosperity of Hong Kong serves not only the core interest of the local people, but the well-being of China and the world,” he added.

“If protestors occupied the main Washington DC airport, shut down all flights, and beat up police and reporters, the US government would order out the Army National Guard and be cheered by the mainstream media. But apparently such lawlessness is OK if done in Hong Kong. US hypocrisy knows no bounds,” said Reese Erlich, who writes the nationally distributed Foreign Correspondent column and is author of five books on US foreign policy.

#It’s disgusting many who claim the HK police are tyrants for allegedly targeting media are apologists saying it’s ok for rioters to target a Global Times reporter because he reports for the other side. These rioters are endangering natl security.# Shaun Rein, the founder and managing director of the China Market Research Group, posted on Twitter on Aug 13.

David Omwoyo, the chief executive officer of the Media Council of Kenya, also strongly condemned the attack on the Global Times reporter by the rioters at the Hong Kong airport.

Any attack on a journalist who is on the line of duty in any part of the world, is an affront to the basic principles of human rights and press freedom and should strongly be condemned, said Omwoyo.

“While peaceful protest is desirable, crossing the line into violence by any side is not because it can escalate things toward very undesirable territory,” he said. Violent individuals within otherwise peaceful protests are not doing any favors to the legitimate concern of democracy.

“The situation in Hong Kong has now become risky in terms of potential consequences, but also threatens the reputation of the city as a safe and stable business hub served by a world class airport,”he said.

Chang Jun in San Francisco, Dong Leshuo in Washington, Tang Ying in Kenya and Wang Mingjie in London contributed to this story.