Press Freedom Under Attack in Hong Kong


Protest for press freedom in Hong Kong. March 2014.

Kevin Lau, former editor of the local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in Hong Kongwas brutally attacked with a knife and suffered serious wounds on February 26, 2014.

This was the latest of hardships that Mr. Lau had to endure in Hong Kong, a city increasingly hostile towards the press.  In January he had been ousted from his position as Editor in Chief at the newspaper Ming Pao, sparking enough outrage that 90% of the editorial staff at Ming Pao signed a petition demanding that the company state its reasons for dismissing Kevin Lau. Many speculated that it was his critical reporting of the Hong Kong government that was the reason for his removal as Editor in Chief.

Under Lau’s leadership, Ming Pao was critical of numerous government policies and pushed for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. The newspaper also exposed several political scandals, embarrassing political leaders in the city.

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Thousands March to Support Press Freedom in Hong Kong

 Ming Pao staff members marched in support of press freedom Sunday in Hong Kong, many carrying banners that read 'They Can't Kill Us All.' Reuters

Ming Pao staff members marched in support of press freedom Sunday in Hong Kong, many carrying banners that read ‘They Can’t Kill Us All.’ Reuters

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.

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