Thousands March to Support Press Freedom in Hong KongPosted: March 3, 2014
HONG KONG—Isabella Steger reports: Thousands of people turned out Sunday in Hong Kong to support media freedom after the condition of former newspaper editor Kevin Lau, who was the victim of a brutal knife attack, took a turn for the better.
Mr. Lau was the editor of respected local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao before being abruptly dismissed in January. He was slashed with a knife on Wednesday near a restaurant he was known to regularly frequent on the east side of Hong Kong’s main island.
He entered the hospital in critical condition and his condition was improved to “serious” on Friday. On Saturday, Mr. Lau’s wife, Vivien Lau, issued a statement saying Mr. Lau had been transferred to the hospital’s general ward from the intensive-care unit.
Attacked Hong Kong Journalist’s Condition Improves
“However, the reality is the wounds he suffers are deep and serious.…He will have to undergo a prolonged program of physiotherapy and other rehabilitation,” Ms. Lau said.
Mr. Lau was shown on television Saturday flashing an “OK” sign to reporters as he was being moved to the general ward.
Protesters at the Sunday demonstration, clad in black with blue ribbons to show support for press freedom, marched to the Hong Kong Police headquarters carrying banners saying “They Can’t Kill Us All.” Others called on Hong Kong police to find the people responsible for the attack.
“Now, not just our freedom of speech, but our freedom to be free from intimidation is also under attack,” said Vienne Chui, a 30-year-old reporter at public broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong. She said that in her seven years working as a journalist in the former British colony, restrictions on reporting have become tighter.
Recently, global press freedom groups warned that the city’s atmosphere for local reporters is growing chillier.
Attacks on Journalists in Hong Kong
July 2013: Sze Wing-ching, founder of free Hong Kong daily am730, had his car window smashed by two men as he was driving in downtown Hong Kong. Sze was unhurt.
June 2013: A car was rammed into the gates of the residence of Jimmy Lai, founder of the pro-democracy Next Media Group, and an ax and machete were left behind at the scene.
June 2013: Chen Ping, publisher of political weekly iSun Affairs, was beaten by two men wielding batons
July 2008: Jimmy Lai and pro-democracy leader Martin Lee were the subject of a failed assassination attempt.
November 2005: A small homemade bomb was sent to Ming Pao’s editorial offices along with a threatening letter, injuring one female employee.
August 1998: Talk radio host Albert Cheng, host of popular “Teacup in a Tempest” program, was slashed with carving knives on his way to work and seriously wounded.
May 1996: Magazine publisher Leung Tin-wai had his left forearm chopped off.
August 1967: Popular anti-leftist radio commentator Lam Bun was burned alive in his car while en route to work, along with his cousin.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association, organizers of the Sunday rally, estimated that more than 13,000 people took part in the march. The group said it handed out about 10,000 blue ribbons. Police estimates put the number at about 8,600.
No arrests have been made related to the attack on Mr. Lau. Hong Kong police have so far released two grainy photos of two suspects… Read the rest >>>
Write to Isabella Steger at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attack on editor condemned in Hong Kong (stuff.co.nz)
- HONG KONG – CHINA – Hong Kong, Kevin Lau’s condition improves: He is conscious and can write (asianews.it)
- Stabbed Hong Kong Editor Improves (online.wsj.com)
- Thousands March in Hong Kong to Condemn Attack on Ex-newspaper Editor (2012thebigpicture.wordpress.com)
- Thousands march in Hong Kong over press freedom (irishtimes.com)
- Hundreds protest attack on Hong Kong journalist (imeluna.wordpress.com)