Skip to main content

Hong Kong newspaper executives attacked amid growing free press fears

By Zoe Li, CNN
updated 8:42 AM EDT, Thu March 20, 2014
Staff of Ming Pao hold up reports on Kevin Lau's February stabbing. Less than a month later, fresh attacks on journalists occur.
Staff of Ming Pao hold up reports on Kevin Lau's February stabbing. Less than a month later, fresh attacks on journalists occur.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two newspaper executives attacked in broad daylight in city
  • It is the second brutal assault on media in one month
  • Concerns raised over increasing threat to press freedom

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Two senior executives of a yet to be launched newspaper in Hong Kong were attacked in broad daylight Wednesday, sparking fresh concerns about press freedom in the city.

The incident comes less than a month after a Hong Kong journalist was hospitalized after being wounded by a knife-wielding assailant.

Four men carrying metal pipes attacked the two executives as they took their lunch break outside the Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui, a major tourist landmark in the city, police confirmed to CNN. A 30-year-old man was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the case.

The victims were identified as Lei Lun-han, aged 46, vice president and director of Hong Kong Morning News Media Group Ltd, and the company's senior executive Lam Kin-ming, aged 54. The group will launch a news publication later this year.

Hong Kong shocked by journalist stabbing
Hong Kong journalists protest censorship

Both men were treated for injuries at hospital and have since been discharged.

Kevin Lau, the former chief editor of Ming Pao, was attacked with a cleaver as he walked to his car last month. Two men have been charged with wounding him. He remains in hospital.

Lau had previously been removed from his post at Ming Pao, a local Hong Kong newspaper known for its hard-hitting reporting on China. His sacking sparked a protest by colleagues.

Just days before the assault on Lau, thousands of Hong Kongers took to the streets to demonstrate against what they see as rapidly escalating efforts by China's Communist Party to control Hong Kong's media.

Journalists feel 'threat'

Shirley Yam, the vice chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, told CNN she sees a clear connection between the attacks and the nature of the victim's professions.

"They are the key persons of the paper and they were attacked at the same time," she said. "Both assault cases are connected to the victims' jobs."

She described the attacks as "a threat" to press freedom.

According to a statement from the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club, the Hong Kong Morning News was formed by veteran journalists and is locally funded with no links to the Chinese mainland.

"This latest incident only underscores the deepening shadows being cast over the media landscape in Hong Kong from violence, intimidation and interference by political and commercial interests," the FCC statement added.

READ MORE: Hong Kong's former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau stabbed

Hong Kong journalists: Press freedom is at an all-time low

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT