Hong Kong Media Office Attacked

The office of In-Media [zh], a Hong Kong citizen journalism website, was attacked by masked men earlier this week. The Wall Street Journal’s China Realtime Report provides the details:

Witnesses said that in the early afternoon on Wednesday, four Chinese men wearing surgical masks and gloves rushed into the ninth-floor office of In-media, an independent online publication known for its outspoken, critical attitude toward the governments of both Hong Kong and mainland China. Two women in the office at the time told police the men used hammers to smash a number of computers, scattering parts across the floor.

[...]Started by activists, In-media began publishing online in 2004 as an outgrowth of the massive antigovernment rallies the year prior that effectively ousted Tung Chee-hwa, the city’s leader at the time. The online-only publication is small, with just three full-time staffers, and stays afloat with the help of 10 interns.

[...]Readers and fans of the publication were likewise outraged by the attack. “Hong Kong is getting more and more like the mainland,” one said on In-media’s Facebook page.

Still, Mr. Chu said there was perhaps a backhanded compliment in the assault. “The incident may indicate that the quality of our website is not too bad,” he said on Thursday. “What we do actually touches on the people in power.”

 In a post for Global Voices, frequent contributor and In-Media staff-member Oiwan Lam translates a statement issued by the Hong Kong based organization:

本社團相信,這次強行入屋破壞的行為,是有計劃及針對公民媒體的行為。該四名戴口罩及手套的歹徒,在短短幾分鐘內,針對破壞辦公室內的電腦,明顯是要以暴力行為,恐嚇香港的獨立及公民媒體。
我們譴責這種惡勢力,同時,亦憂慮更多黑手伸向香港的媒體,扼殺港人的言論自由。我們呼籲市民站出來,投入更多人力及物力,支持所有獨立於政府與財團的公民媒體!

Our organization believes that the violent breaks in is a carefully planned action against local citizen media. The four masked men destroyed our computer in a matter of two to three minutes. Their objective is to instigate fear among the community of independent and citizen media.
We condemn such evil and dark force and are worried that the people behind this would extend their reach further to other media organization in Hong Kong, destroying the freedom of press and speech in Hong Kong. We urge citizen to stand out and support independent media by donating money, resources and actively participate in citizen journalist practice which are independent from the control of government and big corporates.
August 10, 2012 8:57 AM
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Categories: Hong Kong, Politics