Epoch Times Printing Press Attacked by CCP Operatives
The Epoch Times – one of the last independent media voices remaining in Hong Kong – is calling on the international community for support after Chinese thugs attacked its printing press.
Video footage from April 12th shows four men entering the facility and threatening staff before smashing the printing press with sledgehammers and throwing construction debris onto the machinery.
“Due to the serious damage sustained at the printing press, the Epoch Times in Hong Kong has been forced to suspend the printing and distribution of the newspaper while staff repair the machines and upgrade security at the facility,” laments Dana Chung, a senior editor.
There have been five attacks on the printing press since it began operating in 2006, added Chung, including an incident in which masked thugs started a fire inside the building.
These crimes are obviously connected to Beijing’s takeover of Hong Kong, an effort that has intensified following the pro-democracy protests that began in 2019.
During the protests, the Epoch Times was one of few news sources brave enough to report truthfully on the situation in Hong Kong, explains publisher Stephen Gregory. The paper was an “indispensable source of information” about the situation while “other media were staying away,” he said.
Since its founding in 2000, the Epoch Times has been dedicated to “truthful, fact-based reporting” with the goal to counter CCP propaganda. “We’ve been the Chinese people’s and the world’s best source of information about what’s happening in China, about infighting inside the Chinese Communist Party, about human rights abuses targeting minorities and religious groups, about the global objectives of the Chinese Communist Party, and about its efforts to penetrate and its propaganda in Western societies.”
The Epoch Times is the largest Chinese-language newspaper in the world and is published in 36 countries including the United States, Hong Kong, and China. The paper has even sparked a movement inside China to abandon the CCP.
Needless to say, Beijing is bent on shutting the paper down.
CCP operatives have harassed and threatened reporters and their families and have pressured stores to stop selling the publication. At least 10 employees in China were jailed and some endured “severe torture,” says Gregory.
“The Chinese Communist Party has used every trick in the book to suppress the Epoch Times in Hong Kong in an attempt to prevent the city’s people from getting independent news,” adds Chung. “The Epoch Times is one of the few remaining voices in Hong Kong media landscape that does not bend to the CCP.”
Making matters worse for Hong Kong and the Epoch Times is a national security law approved by China last summer. The law gives Chinese authorities increased power to punish any activities in Hong Kong deemed subversive or secessionist.
Victims of the new law include prominent Democratic activists, at least seven of whom were arrested and face charges for improper assembly. The attack on the printing press in Hong Kong was likely designed to prevent the paper from reporting on their sentencing, which will be announced on April 16th.
“The Epoch Times strongly condemns the actions of the criminals and unreservedly denounces the Chinese Communist Party for destroying freedom and the rule of law in Hong Kong,” continues Chung. “This act was not only an attack on the Epoch Times, but on freedom of press in the city.”