• Tue
  • Oct 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:12pm
NewsHong Kong

'They can't kill us all': Thousands protest chopper attack on Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau

Thousands put aside differences to condemn vicious attack on Kevin Lau

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 March, 2014, 2:26pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 March, 2014, 4:54pm

Thousands from across the political spectrum rallied yesterday in support of press freedom and to condemn the attack last week on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau Chun-to.

A recording by Lau, who is recovering from chop wounds that left him close to death, for journalists to stand fearless and safeguard media freedom was broadcast along the route of the march from the Tamar government headquarters to police headquarters in Wan Chai.

"Violence is meant to intimidate. If we are frightened into submission, we will lose our freedom," said Lau, who recorded the message from his bed in Eastern Hospital.

Watch: Thousands protest against attack on Kevin Lau, calling for press freedom

The Journalists Association said 13,000 took part. Police put the figure at 8,600. The rally, which included a silent vigil to condemn violence, was the second related to fears about press freedom in two weeks.

There was a rare show of political unity as lawmakers from various pan-democratic groups marched alongside legislators from the Beijing-friendly camp.

Christopher Chung Shu-kun, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, signed the main banner stating "They Can't Kill Us All". In January he voted against a Legco motion to safeguard editorial independence.

Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan pledged that media workers would continue to stand firm in the face of threats.

"Violence will only make our voice louder," she said.

Also taking part was Ming Pao's new chief editor, Cheung Kin-bor, and Chong Tien Siong, new principal executive editor. Singer Wong Yiu-ming and actress Sheren Tang Shui-man were among showbiz stars.

The rally was organised by the Press Coalition Against Violence, which consists of five industry organisations.

A government spokesman said the administration attached great importance to press freedom and freedom of speech.

Lau was chopped in the back and legs on Wednesday as he got out of his car near a restaurant in Sai Wan Ho. A friend said his condition had improved and he was able to eat solid food.

Li Kin-fai, regional police commander of Hong Kong Island, appealed to the public to contact them with any information about the case.

Police are checking CCTV footage at border checkpoints to see if one of the two suspects had fled to the mainland.


Kevin Lau's statement

A Chinese couplet on a poster from my days at the University of Hong Kong came to mind when I was lying in bed after surgery. It read: "A pen in hand … to tell the truth; for freedom is without fear or favour."

The news media will only be truly inspiring when its practitioners persist in upholding truth and justice. And only those without fear or favour can truly be free.

Violence is meant to intimidate. If we are frightened into submission, we will lose our freedom. We journalists must stand fearless. We must insist that justice be served. We must strive to tell the truth without fear or favour

Freedom is not given. Freedom is not free. We all have to earn it and guard it.


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This article is now closed to comments

It is indeed encouraging that so many people embrace the freedom of press.
As what is said by Sham, violence would only make people's voice louder,at this difficult time, we should not be afraid yet work hand in hand to resist the suppression on press freedom.
hard times !
Yeah, they just can't kill us (who embrace freedom of press and expression in our beloved Hong Kong) all by gang-styled violence ! It is absolutely true !
Dai Muff
They don't have to. They just want to injure and intimidate enough of us so the rest shut up.
Press freedom is important because only that the people can monitor and observe the performance of their government effectively. I hope Kevin Lau can get well soon. May God Bless Hong Kong.
It's worthwhile to safeguard the press freedom!
If this was an attack on press freedom, why was Kevin Lau selected? Did he represent the entire press corp? He was even REMOVED from his post as Editor! Why is the anti-Govt newspaper Apple Daily still operating without any threats? If and when the culprits were captured and it transpired that it was due to other reasons like personal debts, all the 13,000 who marched on the streets would have eggs on their faces. Press freedom is worth marching for, but this stabbing incident has nothing to do with it.
hard times !
Lau Chun-to has just left his former post as chief editor of outspoken local Chinese newspaper: Ming Pao which investigative reportings in the past few years might have angered many rich and powerful guys in the territory and across the border as well ! As chief editor of Ming Pao which front page headline was determined by him. No doubt, he was chosen as the target of being chopped and stabbed by a hired hitman from the Wo Shing Wo of 14 K---a notorious triad gang !
Dai Muff
I said on the very first day that people like you would soon crawl out of the woodwork to be claiming it was personal. But funny how the attacks only ever hurt outspoken critics. No threats to Apple?
1967 Lam Bun murdered.
1993 Next Media office at Quarry Bay vandalised. Giordano criminally damaged.
1993 Firebomb hurled at Lai’s home.
1996 Leung Tin-wai attacked.
1998 Apple Daily's Cheng Sha Wan office gets a threat by fax and a fake bomb.
1998 Black paint thrown at three Next media print ad. sales offices
1998 Commercial Radio host Albert Cheng chopped
2004 Wong Yuk-man assaulted by six men in Tsim Sha Tsui,
2008 Jimmy Lai’s home set on fire after someone hurled a fire bomb
2008 Attempt to kill Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee
2012 Online news website Inmediahk computers smashed
2012 A car drives into into the plate glass windows of the Sing Tao News Corporation headquarters, the car was later found burned.
2012 Three men attacked a Sing Tao outlet in Tsim Sha and smashed its windows
2013 iSun Affairs Magazine publisher Chen Ping was beaten up
2013 Ramraiders left a knife and axe on the driveway of Jimmy Lai’s house, after driving into his gate.
2013 Two men burned copies of Apple Daily on a delivery truck. A chopper was found in front of the newspaper’s office at Tseung Kwan O. More copies were burned near City Hall
Also, am730 founder Shih Wing-ching attacked
2013 September - DIstributor of Apple attacked
What a lot of "personal debts".
How do you know it had nothing to do with the attack? Did the PLA send you a memo?
I think all we have to do is to wait and see when the culprits are caught, who they are and what their motives were. It will then be indisputable whether press freedom was the issue. Incidentally, what about the radio speaker who was dismissed recently? Should she be worried now for her outspoken anti-government comments?




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