Death threats for pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily in Hong Kong

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalist Association (HKJA) condemn death threats against a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong. This is not the first instance of death threats against the newspaper, known as an out-spoken pro-democracy outlet.

In the early hours of January 12, assailants threw small bombs at the Apple Daily building at Tsang Kwan O and at Apple Daily owner, Jimmy Lai’s house at Ho Man Tin in Kowloon. Following the attack, two burned-out cars were discovered in different parts of Hong Kong.

A few hours after the attack, a robber stole a large quantity of Apple Daily newspapers from a vendor in Hung Hom, Kowloon before driving off. Police later discovered the theif in the car and opened fire upon him when it was alleged that he was trying to run them over. One police officer was injured in the incident.

It is not the first instance in which Apple Daily and its staff have been threatened. At least four media workers were assaulted or received death threats in Hong Kong in 2014. This is also the third incident in which Jimmy Lai’s residency has been attacked since 1993 and to date no culprit has been found.

Ip Yat-Kin, Publisher of Apple Daily said: “It is so horrific and flagrant. The assailant targeted Next Media Group. It may be related to the group’s support of democracy. “

Sham Yee-Lan, chairperson of the HKJA said the situation is worsening. She urge Hong Kong police to conduct an in depth investigation into the series of threats against the media.

The IFJ Asia Pacific acting director Jane Worthington said: “It is extremely frustrating that threats of a similar nature have occurred on a number of occasions, particularly towards Apple Daily and the Hong Kong police have so far failed to bring any culprit to justice.”

The IFJ has called on the Hong Kong authorities to send a clear message to the Hong Kong people that such acts of brutality against media will not be tolerated.

“Continued threats against the media will not be tolerated in Hong Kong and this was the clear message that was shared by dozens of journalists in Hong Kong last week who gathered to hold a vigil for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris,” Jane Worthington said. 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

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