Apple Daily hits back at Hong Kong police chief’s criticism

Published (HKT): 2021.04.18 21:26

Apple Daily has rejected the accusations by Hong Kong’s police commissioner that an earlier article “incited hatred,” saying that its reporting was based on facts and that the newspaper enjoyed freedom of the press under the city’s Basic Law.

Commissioner of Police Chris Tang on Saturday criticized the newspaper for publishing a front-page photo of children playing with toy guns. The photo, taken by Reuters, was captioned: “On National Security Education Day, primary school students visited the Hong Kong Police College and pointed toy guns at each other in a mock train carriage. The scene has been compared to the August 31, 2019, incident.”

The article cited online comments drawing a parallel between the photo and the 2019 incident, where riot police used pepper spray against unarmed passengers on a train at Prince Edward station.

Tang said on Saturday that it was “unacceptable” for a news report to divide society, incite hatred or to intimidate police supporters. The police also sent a letter to Apple Daily criticizing the article as unethical.

In response, Apple Daily said that the report was fact-based and that the newspaper was committed to editorial independence. Hong Kong’s Basic Law also guaranteed freedom of the press, it added.

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