Freedom of speech under fire? Hong Kong Next Media attacked


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The Hong Kong home of Jimmy Lai, founder and chairman of Next Media Group, was purposely rear-ended by a car in the early hours of June 19. A threatening message was left on the driveway in the form of an axe and a knife.

A dark blue sedan drove up the hilly road leading to the house. The car backed into the driveway as if to make a turn, but then accelerated, ramming into the wrought-iron front gate. The perpetrators dropped a knife and an ax before leaving the scene. A security guard arrived at the gate shortly after, only to see the car’s tail-lights.

Mr. Lai was home with his wife and child during the incident, though no one was injured. The stolen car believed to have been used in the incident was found later by police. The owner was not aware the vehicle had been stolen until the police informed them.

The menacing act comes at the same time an article published in Tai Kung Pao, a newspaper sympathetic to the Chinese government, criticized Lai’s Apple Daily for allegedly promoting anti-social behavior such as strikes and skipping school.

Reports also note that Lai has come under attack after his publications brought positive attention to the Occupy Central movement, as well as the annual pro-democracy rally scheduled in the city for July 1.
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