World Association of News Publishers

Protest Campaign - Hong Kong, 3 March 2014

Protest Campaign - Hong Kong, 3 March 2014

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The Honourable Leung Chun-ying
Chief Executive of Hong Kong
Government House, Central
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong


3 March 2014 

Dear Mr Leung,


We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our grave concern at a violent attack on journalist Kevin Lau Chun-to.


According to reports, Mr Lau was attacked as he got out of his car in a residential district of Hong Kong on the morning of 26 February. He was slashed three times on his back and leg by a man armed with a cleaver, who fled the scene on a motorcycle driven by another man. Mr Lau underwent emergency surgery and remains in a critical condition. Police were reportedly not immediately able to establish a motive.


Last month, Mr Lau was dismissed from his role as chief editor of the daily Ming Pao, and was named Chief Operating Officer of a subsidiary of the publication. Under Mr Lau, the newspaper had contributed to a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that exposed offshore holdings of China's elite.


We are concerned that the attack may have been the result of Mr Lau's work as a journalist and represents on an attack on press freedom in Hong Kong. Last weekend, thousands of people marched to show their support for press freedom after a series of attacks on journalists and a widely held belief that many Hong Kong media owners are prioritizing business interests in China over critical news coverage.


We welcome your condemnation of the attack and your visit to Mr Lau in hospital, and respectfully call on you to do everything possible to ensure that those responsible are quickly identified and brought to justice. We urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of journalists carrying out their profession and to recognize the important role of a free press to the future of Hong Kong.


We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.



Yours sincerely,


Tomas Brunegård
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Erik Bjerager
World Editors Forum


WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.



Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2014-03-03 12:34

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...