Protest organisers call on public to join press freedom demo following Kevin Lau attack

Demonstration today will condemn vicious attack on former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 March, 2014, 5:33am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 March, 2014, 8:37am

Hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a demonstration today condemning the brutal chopping attack on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to and to rally support for press freedom.

Organised by the Press Coalition against Violence - formed by a group of media organisations - the "Protest against Violence" will begin at noon at the park next to government headquarters in Admiralty.

A silent vigil will be held to pray for Lau's recovery.

The protesters will then march to police headquarters in Wan Chai to demand prompt action to arrest those who attacked Lau with a meat cleaver on Wednesday. The motive for the attack has yet to be established.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), one of the organisers of the rally, urged the public to show their support.

"Kevin Lau Chun-to has sustained multiple knife injuries in a brutal attack carried out in broad daylight. Such a blatant act of lawlessness conducted in a public place is a naked challenge to Hong Kong's security and rule of law," the association said in a statement. "As members of the news media in Hong Kong, we are outraged.

"We hope to gather the news industry's collective strength to strongly urge the police to capture the assailants as quickly as possible and to uncover the masterminds of the crime. The coalition is holding a rally and march to demonstrate its united voice."

The Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, Newspaper Society of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Federation of Journalists are also involved in organising the protest.

Others taking part include the Foreign Correspondents' Club Hong Kong, RTHK Programme Staff Association, Next Media Trade Union and the Ming Pao Staff Concern Group. Participants are asked to dress in black.

Yesterday, a group formed by former Ming Pao staff collected 27,000 signatures in a petition to support Lau.

And Macau's Journalist Association also organised a vigil to show its support for press freedom in Hong Kong yesterday.

Some 50 journalists, media students and commentators stood before the Ruins of St Paul's in silence for one minute, holding cardboard signs reading: "Hong Kong and Macau support press freedom together."