Armed thugs in Hong Kong broke into the printing facility of an anti-government newspaper to destroy its equipment, the latest example of what the paper says is the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown on press freedom in the city state.
The Epoch Times, a paper founded by Chinese dissidents in 2000, said four intruders forced their way into the paper's Hong Kong printing plant during the early hours of April 12. The intrusion marks the fifth time vandals attacked the printing facility since it was established in 2006.
Surveillance footage shows masked attackers, one of them armed with a knife, wielding sledge hammers to destroy printing equipment. The intruders scuttled away after two minutes, stealing a computer in the process.
4 masked intruders armed with sledge hammers barged into the @EpochTimesHK printing plant in the early hours of April 12, damaging computers and printing equipment.
The printing press has been attacked 4 previous times.
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) April 12, 2021
The attackers are still at large, but the Epoch Times laid the blame squarely on the Chinese Communist Party. Cheryl Ng, a spokeswoman for the Epoch Times‘s Hong Kong edition, said the "intrusion was characteristic of the CCP" and aimed to silence "reporting on topics that are taboo to the communist regime."
The Epoch Times is not the only newspaper suffering from the Chinese state's growing repression in Hong Kong, which has worsened since it passed a national security law in June 2020. In August, authorities arrested Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, the owner of the pro-democracy Apple Daily, ostensibly for colluding with foreign powers. Police raided the Apple Daily‘s office on the same day, carting off boxes of evidence.