Apple Daily a violator of press freedom

2021-06-25 Editor : Zhang Mingxin ECNS App Download

June 24 marks the end of Apple Daily, a tabloid in Hong Kong. The White House published a statement on its website, calling the discontinuance of Apple Daily businesses "a sad day for media freedom in Hong Kong and around the world".

If the White House knew a bit about the tabloid it talked about, it would not use that term because Apple Daily in its 26 years of history had repeatedly violated the legal rights of people under the disguise of "media freedom".

Founded in 1995, Apple Daily first focused on entertainment and was rather good in fabricating lies and rumors about celebrities. In 2008, Hong Kong singer Joey Yung suffered Apple Daily's attacks so much that over 200 of her fans jointly sent a telegraph to Apple Daily for protest.In 2010, Taiwan entertainment star Dee Hsu and her husband sued Apple Daily Taiwan branch for fabricating their domestic violence and won the case later.In 2012, film star Zhang Ziyi took Apple Daily in Hong Kong to court and won the case, too. Where were the legal rights of these victims when Apple Daily was enjoying its "media freedom"?

Having suddenly turned political in 2014, Apple Daily played a major role in inciting violence in that year's "Occupy Central" and the 2019 riots. On Aug.25, 2019, over 100 rioters attacked six policemen in Hong Kong with sticks and bricks. One day before that attack, a rioter was photographed pointing a gun, seemingly a Glock as visible in the photo, at the police. But this was not mentioned in Apple Daily's reports. It claimed the police "attacked protesters", and the rioters were labeled as like heroes. Where was the truth when Apple Daily was exercising its "media freedom"?

Invited by Apple Daily on Nov.11, 2019, a group of rioters poured flammable liquid on a 57-year-old passerby surnamed Li and set him on fire in Ma On Shan, only because the latter disagreed with illegal behavior. Where was Li's freedom of speech? Can Apple Daily as an inciter of violence claim itself free of accountability?

On May 24, 2020, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying published on the cover of Apple Daily an article calling for Hong Kong residents to petition the US president for sanctioning China.Is that subversion or even treason? Where was the security of the motherland and the home city when Apple Daily was exercising its "freedom of press"?

Apple Daily had turned itself from a media outlet into a monkey wrench of the ulterior forces. Some of its employees who wore yellow V-jacket and incited violence during the riots were not journalists, but destroyers of Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

By the way, while the White House mentioned "media freedom" on Apple Daily's end, the US closed over 30 news websites of Iran under the excuse of violating its "sanction". That is something indeed associated with media freedom and deserves worldwide attention.


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