“The world is diverse and there should be a limit on press freedom,” Xinhua said.
“For the sake of peaceful living, mutual respect is essential. Sarcasm, insults and freedom of speech without limits and principles are not acceptable.”
Some observers in Hong Kong saw a local resonance to the Charlie Hebdo story when masked attackers threw petrol bombs at the home and office of Next Media founder Jimmy Lai in the early hours of Monday.
Preceding article: Being Charlie 11
- Press Freedom: Fire Bomb Attacks on Hong Kong’s Apple Daily Founder Jimmy Lai (variety.com)
Masked men threw a small incendiary device into Lai’s home in the exclusive Kadoorie Avenue area and simultaneously threw similar flares or petrol bombs into the offices of his Next Media company in Tsuen Kwan O.
Shortly after, Hong Kong police opened fire on a car which refused to stop at a checkpoint, but it is not clear if that incident was connected to the twin attacks.
Lai (aka Lai Chee-ying) is one of the most prominent anti-Beijing voices in Hong Kong and, through his Apple Daily newspaper, was one of the leading supporters of the recent ‘Occupy Central’ movement.
The attacks were not the first on Lai’s home. He has also previously received death threats and the websites of Apple Daily have suffered multiple cyber-attacks, which Lai has blamed on hackers sponsored by mainland Chinese authorities.
- China media: Paris attack condemned (bbc.co.uk)
Describing the gunmen as “brutal”, state-run Xinhua News Agency says terrorism has become a common threat to the world, and points to the problems France’s anti-terrorism policies.
“In recent years, France has been involved in military actions in Libya and it recently joined the US-led forces to fight the Islamic State, making it a prominent terror target,” the news agency says.
According to the analysis, “freedom of religious belief and lax immigration policies” have also prompted the spread of extremism in the country.
Some observers, meanwhile, feel that some European countries will rethink their anti-terrorism effort in the Middle East and some of their domestic policies in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“European countries and the US are likely to review their security framework… This incident will change the outlook and policies of these societies,” Zhao Chu, a military expert, tells the Qianjiang Evening News.
- Why President Xi thinks Charlie Hebdo had it coming (ipolitics.ca)When it comes to accepting the concept of freedom of expression, President Xi is very much on the Islamic State’s end of the spectrum. Indeed, as the leaders posed for the camera, China’s state-controlled news agency, Xinhua, was running an editorial saying that the slaughter of the Charlie Hebdo staff was an excellent example of why government-imposed limits on freedom of expression is a good thing.
The editorial noted that Charlie Hebdo has been criticized for being “both crude and heartless. What they (supporters of the magazine) seem not to realise is that the world is diverse, and there should be limits on press freedom. Unfettered and unprincipled satire, humiliation and free speech are not acceptable.”
Censorship in China has racked up several notches since Xi came to power late in 2012. This followed two decades of relative liberalization during a time when state-controlled media was expected to make a profit — and so was also expected to provide news coverage that people wanted to read and hear. The same period saw a rise in corruption in Chinese journalism. Reporters and editors frequently demand money to report stories — or (and this is even more profitable) in return for not running stories embarrassing to those wealthy enough to pay the fine.
- China slams ‘Western’ press freedom amid solidarity over Paris attacks (refworld.org)
Global Times said many Muslims living in the West “feel that they are neither trusted nor respected.”
It said Western politicians were unwilling to “curb” media outlets because of their need to win votes. “Sometimes they even support the media,” the paper said.
While the official Xinhua news agency echoed the Chinese government’s condemnation of the attacks, it said they had highlighted “issues with France’s anti-terrorism and immigration policies in recent years.”
French involvement in strikes on Libya and the Islamic State had turned the country into a target for terrorists, while religious extremism has been allowed to flourish under the country’s liberal religious freedom policies, it said.
“The specter of terrorism had surfaced in France well before this attack,” the article said.
- Alert: police in Britain seek man for exercising free speech (samizdata.net)
If you see the man shown in this article, please do not inform the Police of his whereabouts.
But do tell the bloke, who it must be said may well be a low IQ scumbag who likes to insult strangers on a bus, that he is quite mistaken if he thinks people in the UK have a right to freedom of expression. That is not the case, for it is only politically approved speech that passes a Guardian/BBC sniff test that is permitted. Mutter the wrong things on a bus and you are likely to end up in front of the Beak, with your arrest applauded by those valiant custodians of truth, the Press.
- Hong Kong’s Free Press Shackled by China, Reports Say (theepochtimes.com)
2014 was a watershed year for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and the press—during the nearly three-months of street protests, the former found new confidence and belief, while the latter clammed up under pressure from China and the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government.
Two international non-governmental organizations, PEN American Center and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), released reports this month warning of Beijing’s “intervention” in Hong Kong’s news media.
Press freedom is guaranteed in the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s governing document. But the liberal institution—one of many rights and freedoms the semiautonomous city still enjoys after Britain ceded sovereignty to China in 1997—is being eroded under political and economic pressure from the Chinese communist regime, the 2014’s “worst jailer of journalists.”
At IFJ’s annual China Press Freedom Report on Monday, the federation’s Asia-Pacific spokeswoman Serenade Woo noted that the Beijing has been “more frequently and openly” interfering in Hong Kong, a “very worrying” sign, South China Morning Post reports.
- Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai’s home and office hit by arson attacks (theguardian.com)
Petrol bombs reported to have been used in simultaneous early morning attacks Jump to comments (…) Jimmy Lai pictured when he appeared in court in Hong Kong after a Chinese man was convicted of allegedly planning to shoot two prominent pro-democracy figures, Lai and veteran politician Martin Lee, in the territory.