China state media says there must be limits on press freedom to curb violence – the day after Jimmy Lai home and office is firebombed

Jimmy Lai


Chinese state media has argued that there should be limits on the freedom of the press to preserve peace in some parts of the world.

The day after thousands rallied in Paris to condemn the deadly terrorist assault on the offices of satirical current affairs magazine Charlie Hebdo, China’s Xinhau News Agency said in an editorial that “there should be a limit on press freedom” and for the “sake of peaceful living, mutual respect is essential,” referring to Charlie Hebdo’s hard-hitting editorial style, which has been regularly critical of Islam.

“Sarcasm, insults and freedom of speech without limits and principles are not acceptable,” the agency wrote.

Another piece by Xinhua read: “It is high time for the Western world to review the root causes of terrorism to avoid more violence in the future.”

An article by the Beijing broadsheet China Daily wondered: “What on earth are the boundaries between respect for religions and freedom of the press?”

The comments emerge the day after the home and office of Jimmy Lai, the former publisher of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, one of the few local supporters of the recent Occupy Central movement, was firebombed.

In the early hours of this morning, masked men threw petrol bombs outside Next Media headquarters in Tseung Kwan O and also at Lai’s home in the Kadoorie Hill area. No one was hurt.

Mark Simon, Next Media’s spokesman, commented on the attacks: “This is a continual effort to try to intimidate the press in Hong Kong. This is raw and pure intimidation.”

He added that said the attacks were “more depressing than shocking” for Hong Kong and the local media press, adding that Lai returned to bed soon after being informed of the bombings.

“He is psychologically prepared for anything. It’s Jimmy Lai,” Simon is quoted as saying.

A vigil has been held in Hong Kong to commemorate the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

HK Charlie Hebdo attacks


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