Thousands Protest Attack on Hong Kong Journalist

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong Sunday to condemn a vicious attack on a former newspaper editor and to protest Beijing's increasing influence in the media.

Kevin Lau Chun-to was attacked Wednesday by a man with a meat cleaver. Lau sustained serious wounds to his torso and legs, but survived his injuries after surgery.

Police say they have not determined a motive for the attack.

Lau, the former chief editor of the Ming Pao, a Chinese-language paper known for its investigative reporting, was recently removed from his job. He was replaced by a journalist with suspected pro-Beijing leanings, sparking fears Beijing might be attempting to undermine the publication's independence.

Organizers say that up to 13,000 people including journalists, activists and lawmakers marched in Sunday's rally, although police put the turnout around 8,600.

A similar march was held a week earlier, with some 6,000 people demanding the city's leader uphold media freedoms.

Journalists and rights groups have warned that media freedom in Hong Kong is being stifled by increased censorship and the dismissal of influential liberal journalists.

VOA News / Mar. 03, 2014 08:25 KST