CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 November 2017

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Free speech comes at a cost

HONG KONG (UCAN): Threatening letters have been sent to the British-based family of the editor of the Hong Kong Free Press, Tom Grundy, warning that he needs to tread carefully in the political coverage provided by the English-language media outlet.
 
Grundy is the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Free Press and a warning letter sent to his family in the United Kingdom on September 29 reads, “In politics, when one does not know one’s enemies clearly, one could get hurt.”
 
It then cautions him to tread carefully and to be “very wise about his actions and their consequences.”
 
Grundy responded saying that the Hong Kong Free Press would continue its journalism and would not bow to the threat. The Criminal Investigation Department in Hong Kong opened an inquiry into the case on October 1.
 
The letter is one of six the family has received since August 25.
 
They accuse the media outlet of writing biased and negative stories about Hong Kong and China and succumbing to brainwashing by foreigners.
 
The online publication reported that one letter listed 50 names of non-Chinese Hong Kong residents, including contributors to the media outlet and democracy advocates.
 
It was headed, “The following foreigners have been deemed guilty of spreading hatred and dividing (Hong Kong and China).”
 
The letter says, “The punishment shall be mandated as of January 2018. Expulsion from Chinese territory. A list will be sent to immigration staff.”
 
The Hong Kong Journalists Association released a statement on October 4 urging the police to thoroughly investigate the whole matter.
 
Launched in mid-2015, the Hong Kong Free Press was founded by independent journalists through crowdfunding as an alternative to the dominant English news sources in the city.
 
Grundy said that over the past two years it has published more than 10,000 reports, including a large number focussed on politics in the city and the mainland.

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