On April 12, for the fifth time since 2006, the Hong Kong Epoch Times’ printing plant has been attacked. This attack forced the temporary closure of the paper and occurred just days ahead of court appearances by key Hong Kong pro-democracy activists.
These attacks are part of the constant pressure put on press freedom in Hong Kong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), pressure that has intensified as the Chinese regime has passed legislation restricting civil liberties in Hong Kong.
In a statement issued by Epoch Times on 13 April, it was reported that “At 4 a.m. on April 12, four intruders barged into the printing shop for the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times, smashing several computers, printing press equipment, and tossing construction debris onto the machines before fleeing in a white van. Police officers led by two teams conducted an investigation at the scene after receiving a call about the attack. Officials told staff that the crime department has taken over the case.”
“This is the fifth time the printing plant has been attacked. In November 2019, four intruders set a fire in the printing warehouse during the peak of the pro-democracy protests that were sweeping Hong Kong. Fortunately, staff present during the attack were able to extinguish the fire soon after, which did not result in a significant loss.”
Since Beijing imposed its “national security law” on the China-ruled city, democratic freedom has abruptly declined. The timing of all these attacks is not accidental.
Police investigations into the previous attacks have so far failed to unveil any information. We urge the Hong Kong police to take all measures to investigate the case thoroughly and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Due to severe damage to the equipment, the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times has temporarily suspend printing.
Founded in the United States in 2000, The Epoch Times began publishing in Hong Kong in 2001. It is one of the few independent media outlets in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong people have come to look upon it as a staunch friend. The Epoch Times was on the streets covering the recent democracy protests when most media outlets kept their distance.
Hong Kong senior journalist Wong Ngon-yin told the Epoch Times on April 12: “The Epoch Times is the hope of Hong Kong. If you are still here, Hong Kong still has hope.”
However, this hope is under attack. Recently, mainland Chinese police threatened Hong Kong Epoch Times talk show host Rachel Wong. The police sent her a message: “Stop broadcasting programs, or face arrest under the new national security law.”
The Epoch Times is known for its uncensored coverage of China, including political infighting within the CCP, the regime’s human rights violations against ethnic minorities and religious groups, its global objectives, and Beijing’s propaganda and influence operations abroad.
The Epoch Times publishes in 22 languages and 36 countries.
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/hongkong-press-media-camera-work-3623118/