Apple Daily vows to remain strong despite firebomb attacks

January 12, 2015 17:49
An image grab from a CCTV footage showing a man about to lob a firebomb at the residence of Jimmy Lai early Monday morning. Photo: YouTube

Ip Yut-kin, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Apple Daily, vowed to help the firm stay strong after the firebomb attacks at the home of media tycoon Jimmy Lai and the office of Next Media, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Ip, who visited Lai’s home with another senior official on Monday morning, said the attack was aimed at stifling press freedom, and indicated that it could be linked with previous protests at the newspaper's head office, the report said.

“It’s part of the efforts to intimidate our reporters,” Ip said.

The company intends to enhance security at its offices given that incidents of intimidation have escalated, he said, but stressed that the newspaper is operating normally.

The Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen, said the administration would not tolerate any acts of violence in the territory, regardless of the political leanings.

He said the police will launch a thorough investigation of the case, and the Department of Justice will carry out prosecution when there is sufficient evidence.

Yuen admitted that it was difficult to nail down the people behind the attacks against media in the past, as the cases involved different backgrounds and the culprits usually sought different ways to hide their identity.

Sham Yee-lan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, urged all reporters to condemn the attack, which has “obviously targeted” Next Media and challenged the rule of law.

Attackers have tried to destroy freedom of speech and the press in the city, and police should investigate these cases as soon as possible, Sham added.

However, pro-Beijing legislator Regina Ip cautioned against immediately linking the case with the issue of freedom of the press because it could have been triggered by personal grudges.

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Freelance journalist