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Journalists' organisation condemns violent attacks on Hong Kong media outlets

(IFJ/IFEX) - September 7, 2012 - The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) in condemning two violent attacks on Hong Kong media outlets within a week.

The Sing Tao News Corporation was attacked twice in one week, with the latest attack occurring at Tsim Sha Tsui, in southern Kowloon on September 4. According to reports, three axe-wielding masked men smashed the glass panels at the offices.

Six people have now been arrested in relation to the attack, and two cars have also been reportedly been seized.

A similar attack also took place at Sin Tao's headquarters in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong island on August 30. A stolen car was rammed into the facade of Sing Tao News Corporation's building. The car was later found set alight on the Kowloon side.

"Although we did not receive either threats or warning prior to the two incidents which occurred, we believe the malicious acts clearly targeted the Corporation. It is absolutely unacceptable," the Corporation stated.

In an earlier incident, on August 8, an online media outlet, Inmedia, was attacked by four masked men. The attackers smashed three computers, a television and chairs. Hong Kong Police initiated an investigation, but there have been no arrests.

"These recent attacks on Hong Kong media are a clear attack on press freedom," IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

The IFJ welcomes the arrests in the Sing Tao case, but also calls on the Hong Kong Police to conduct a swift investigation into the attacks on Inmedia and immediately bring the assailants to justice.

We further urge the authorities of Hong Kong to send a strong message to the public that attacks on the media and press freedom will not be tolerated in Hong Kong.

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