Thousands March in Hong Kong to Condemn Attack on Ex-Newspaper Editor
Hong Kong – Thousands of protesters rallied outside the Hong Kong’s government headquarters on Sunday to condemn a knife attack on a former newspaper editor and to voice support for press freedom amid growing concern over Beijing’s influence in the media. Kevin Lau Chun-to, who until recently had been chief editor of Ming Pao, a Chinese-language newspaper known for its investigative reports, was stabbed in the back and legs several times by a man in a helmet on Wednesday. The assailant rode off on a motorcycle with an accomplice. No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.
Dressed in black and wearing blue ribbons, symbolizing press freedom, protesters carried a large banner with the words “They can’t kill us all”. Other banners and placards read “Freedom from fear” and “Protect press freedom”. Police have not established a motive for Lau’s stabbing although suspicions have spread that powerful individuals from mainland China or pro-Beijing allies opposed to the city’s push for full democracy may have had a hand in the attack.
“We’re not going to bow to the intimidation,” said Shirley Yam, vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, one of the organizers of the protest. “That’s the strong message we want to send whoever it is that the Hong Kong media is going to stand firm and do whatever’s best for press freedom and the right for our citizens to be informed.”
Organizers put the number of demonstrators at 13,000, while police said there were 8,600 at the peak. Lau left the intensive care unit of the hospital on Saturday, although his wife said his recovery would take time. “The reality is the wounds he suffers are deep and serious. His road to recovery will be a long and winding one,” his wife Vivien said in a statement. (Reuters)