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Monday August 28, 2006

Report: Hong Kong singer files injunction against magazine

HONG KONG: Hong Kong singer Gillian Chung, who was shown changing clothes backstage on a local magazine cover last week, has filed an injunction against the publication, a TV station reported Monday. 

The cover of Easy Finder's current edition dated last Wednesday used photos of Chung adjusting her bra and naked from her shoulders up while backstage at a concert in the Malaysian resort of Genting. 

Chung has reported the matter to both Malaysian and Hong Kong police. 

Cable TV reported the injunction filed in High Court demands that Easy Finder magazine stop publishing its secretly taken pictures of Chung, part of the female pop duo Twins, turn them over to her and pay her compensation. 

Mani Fok, an artist manager for Twins' record label, EEG, declined to confirm the report. 

Fellow stars and women's groups have denounced the photos as distasteful.  

The Hong Kong Journalists Association condemned the cover as a violation of professional ethics. 

Government regulators have received nearly 2,200 complaints against the magazine cover, spokeswoman Mavis Hui said.  

Hong Kong's Obscene Articles Tribunal has classified the issue as "indecent,'' paving the way for possible prosecution. 

Easy Finder is part of Hong Kong's Next Media group of publications. 

Next Media, which also publishes the Apple Daily newspaper and Next magazine, hasn't commented publicly on the backlash over Chung's photos. 

Media intrusion of star privacy is a lingering issue in Hong Kong, a celebrity-obsessed city with established Chinese-language film and music industries. 

The issue was thrust into the limelight four years ago when a magazine was shut down temporarily amid a backlash after it published a cover photo of a visibly distressed, seminude female. 

In 2000, the local newspaper industry formed the self-regulatory Hong Kong Press Council, but critics say it doesn't have enough power.  

The council can criticise publications and ask them to apologize but has no enforcement power. 

In late 2004, Hong Kong's Law Reform Commission proposed a press regulator backed up by legislation, but journalists opposed it as a threat to press freedom. 

The body also proposed criminalization of surveillance by private parties earlier this year. 

Home Affairs Bureau spokeswoman Jessey Kong said the government is still considering the reform body's recommendations. - AP 

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