If Britain's more raucous newspapers, to paraphrase a famous warning on press freedom, have been drinking at the Last Chance Saloon then Hong Kong's gossip magazines have been happily playing the piano in the bordello upstairs. Eastweek's publication this week of a photograph of a celebrity cowering naked during a kidnapping 12 years ago has set a disturbing low-water mark for Hong Kong's media. Unnamed but easily identified, the young woman is clearly in considerable distress. There is absolutely no justification for publishing the image in terms of news or entertainment value, or even public interest. One is left to speculate on more malicious motives beyond the merely commercial. Given the outrage from press groups and politicians, it is clear that more than the additional harm to one young crime victim is at stake. The government has fielded nearly 300 complaints; we hope readers also vote with their feet to limit any financial gain to this publication from its decision to use the photograph. Hong Kong's press freedoms are precious. Their wider virtue must not be threatened by such sleaze, which gives ammunition to those who want to impose greater controls on the media, possibly through legislation. Rigorous self-regulation must prevail. The case also raises questions of morality. The kidnapping was never solved. A thorough police investigation is needed into the photograph's history to discover whether any laws have been broken or any fresh light can be shed on old crimes. Any evidence of criminality must result in prosecution.