Thursday, 20 March 2014

Another Attack in a Month

Lei Iun-han was injured yesterday in attack by three masked men with pipes
Hong Kong has experienced another attack on press freedom after two people involved in the launch of a new newspaper were attacked yesterday.

Lei Iun-han, 46, director and vice-president of Hong Kong Morning News Media Group and news controller Lam Kin-ming, 54, were injured by three masked men with iron pipes in broad daylight on Science Museum Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The assailants -- wearing caps, surgical masks and gloves fled in a getaway car driven by a fourth man. Lei suffered injuries to her nose and knees, while Lam his right elbow.

Today a 30-year-old local man was arrested, apparently the owner of the silver Toyota sedan, that was later found abandoned in Wong Tai Sin.

Lam and Lei said they received no prior warning to the attack and it was over in a few seconds. A police source claimed the assailants were targeting the female victim (Lei), but she told police she didn't know why she was attacked.

It is the second time in four weeks after former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau Chun-to was brutally attacked by men with choppers in Sai Wan Ho. Two men involved in the incident appeared in court today.

What is going on? It's very troubling to see these things happen in Hong Kong where press freedom is already fragile, and made even more so by these two attacks.

"Hong Kong is a lawful society. We will not tolerate any savage act. We must condemn such violence," said Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok.

Nevertheless it is a good sign to see the United States concerned about what's going on here.

US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Washington was concerned about the recent spate of attacks.

"While the details of the most recent attack are not completely clear, we are troubled by a series of incidents over the past year that seem to target Hong Kong media figures," she said.

Psaki said press freedom was crucial to the city's success and reputation as a leading centre of global commerce. "We expect Hong Kong's law enforcement authorities will fully and transparently investigate these incidents," she said.

Hong Kong cannot continue having these attacks -- Lau's February 26th incident was already shocking. If more of the city's media are frightened by violence, how can people feel safe?

No comments:

Post a Comment