DOJ Calls For Investigation

( The Department of State condemned an intrusion on the printing facilities of The Epoch Times in Hong Kong on April 13. Masked invaders attacked the facility amidst growing tensions in Hong Kong as China increases its legislative power over the territory.

The State Department condemned the attacks and the United States Department of Justice called for a full investigation into what happened.

“We condemn the attack on the Epoch Times’ printing plant and urge the Hong Kong authorities to thoroughly investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice,” a spokesman for the State Department said.

The spokesperson added that the United States is concerned about increased efforts in China to silence newspapers and journalists who don’t toe the official line in China, but stopped short of specifically mentioning or condemning the Chinese Communist Party.

“We are committed to standing up for press freedom and freer and wider access to information and ideas around the world,” the spokesperson said. “Freedom of expression, including for members of the press, is critical to transparency.”

Ironic, really, when the U.S. federal government doesn’t care so much about preserving freedom of expression for conservatives at home.

The disturbing attack in Hong Kong involved four masked men who forced their way into the printing facility with the intent of stopping operations. The man took sledgehammers to printing equipment and spread debris around the building. Computers and transmitters were also damaged, stopping the Hong Kong edition of the Epoch Times from being printed temporarily.

The Epoch Times is decidedly anti-Chinese Communist Party, making it a target for supporters of the communist regime – and for those potentially hired by the Chinese government to cause trouble.

According to the Epoch Times, who reported on the incident, the timing of the intrusion has sparked speculation that it was a response to the newspaper’s coverage of an ongoing court case that will decide the fate of high-profile pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. The newspaper has followed the stories of many key activists in recent months and has previously been attacked before – just 18 months ago.

Several lawmakers in Hong Kong condemned that attack on the newspaper, but with the power of elected officials in Hong Kong recently diminished – after China reduced the number of directly-elected officials – it appears increasingly likely that nothing will change.

At least, any time soon.