15th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) There was online rumour that that former RTHK news anchor Nabela Qoser has left Hong Kong a few days ago. She has reportedly migrated to Canada. Qoser of Pakistani descent and was born and raised in Hong Kong. She has worked for several media organisations, including TVB, Ming Pao and RTHK. As the first non-Chinese journalist in Hong Kong, her fluent Cantonese has attracted the attention of the audience.
Nabela Qoser is a Hong Kong journalist and broadcaster. Until end of May 2021, she was Assistant Programme Officer at Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and co-hosted the RTHK talk show[clarification needed]This Week. She is the first Cantonese-language news reporter of non-ethnic Chinese descent in Hong Kong. She attracted media attention in 2019 following her outspoken questioning of government officials.On 6 May 2021, her crew of This Week won the 25th Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards panelled by Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong with two submissions “In the Name of Justice” and “Awakened, amid the Epidemic?“, while another team of Hong Kong Connection also won the Documentary Video award with the emission “7.21 Who Owns the Truth?“. After failing to withdraw from the nominations beforehand, RTHK declared to reject the awards.
Qoser attracted media attention following her questioning of government officials over the 2019 Yuen Long attack. The then Chief Executive Carrie Lam and several government officials organised a press conference on 22nd July 2020, more than ten hours after the mob attack, to respond to media enquiries. During the press conference, Qoser confronted Lam and Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo over the government’s delayed response to the attack. She compared the late government press conference to the one held at 4am soon after the storming of the Legislative Council Complex on 1st July. She further pressed the government on whether the attack was an act of cooperation between the government, the police, and triad groups. When Lam refused to respond directly, Qoser told her to “answer like a human being”. Qoser also questioned government officials whether they were able to sleep well at night following the attack. Her sharp questioning of government officials was praised in the media and on Internet forums, with netizens calling her a “reporter with conscience”.
During the police press conference on 6th August 2019, Qoser asked police officers why they did not immediately arrest the mob attackers on 21st July, unlike their swift arrests on more recent days. She followed up with questions regarding the police’s lack of warning to the public, and on CCTV footage that showed police presence that night; she persisted when the police spokesman answered her question indirectly. She was rumoured to have been banned from participating in police press conferences due to her being too direct in her questions, though the RTHK Programme Staff Union clarified that she did not receive pressure from RTHK or the police force. During a police press conference regarding the death of Chow Tsz-lok in November 2019, she repeatedly asked the police on their potential involvement of Chow’s death. When officers attempted to proceed to the next question, other journalists participating in the conference passed their turn, effectively handing back the floor back to Qoser.
On 6th May 2021, her crew of This Week won the 25th Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards panelled by Amnesty International Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Journalists Association, and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong with two submissions “In the Name of Justice” and “Awakened, amid the Epidemic?“, while another team of Hong Kong Connection also won the Documentary Video award with the emission “7.21 Who Owns the Truth?“. After failing to withdraw from the nominations beforehand, RTHK declared to reject the awards.
For her reporting style, Qoser had been subject of attacks by the pro-Beijing camp since the start of the 2019 protests. Abusive comments about Qoser, targeting her skin colour and ethnicity, appeared on pro-Beijing social media pages. On 21st January 2020, the Equal Opportunities Commission issued a statement, which expressed “grave concern” over the social media comments and reiterated the commission’s stance against verbal abuse. The statement, which did not directly mention Qoser by name, made reference to the Race Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 602), which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on a person’s race.