Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I am Jimmy Lai

Apple Daily publisher Jimmy Lai's home and office firebombed (Variety).
The attacks occurred in the small hours of Monday morning local time, only hours after over a million people and 40 world leaders took to the streets of Paris in support of press freedom, democracy and unity. The French rallies were sparked by the execution of journalists and cartoonists last week at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Masked men threw a small incendiary device into Lai’s home in the exclusive Kadoorie Avenue area and simultaneously threw similar flares or petrol bombs into the offices of his Next Media company in Tsuen Kwan O.
Lai affects the democratic future of 1/7th of humanity. Think we'll see any marches for him?

This week, I am Jimmy Lai.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Raj said...

It's not QUITE the same. He wasn't brutally murdered by gunmen storming his office and also shooting many of his staff.

Mike Fagan said...

"Think we'll see any marches for him?"

No, but then the likes of David Cameron going to Paris to show support for "free speech" was an insult anyway, particularly given the recent behaviour of the UK Electoral Commission.

Written comments by "western leaders" about free speech are generally worth less than the dog shit their printed words are used to pick up, as at least the dog shit might tell you something useful about the health of your dog.

Wayne said...

Moi aussi!

Michael Turton said...

t's not QUITE the same. He wasn't brutally murdered by gunmen storming his office and also shooting many of his staff.

Eventually, he might be. And he's far more important than those french cartoonists. The world produces many cartoonists, but few Jimmy Lai-s

les said...

I used to look at Jimmy as a bit on an Asian Rupert Murdoch. Now I think he's got a bit more substance to him. He could very easily go along with the norm, kiss up with China and become (even more) filthy stinking rich. I don't know why he's chosen his current stance, but I can't knock him for it.

Raj said...

Eventually, he might be.

Charlie Hebdo was attacked a few years ago (I believe firebombed). There was no march for them then.

Although I agree there probably wouldn't be a march for Jimmy Lai and his colleagues if the same happened to them. The international involvement in the march in France was largely instigated by the European community. Asia has no such solidarity, especially as some of it is pro-censorship.

R said...

Jimmy Lai certainly deserve a lot more attention than what he is receiving now. The significance of the losses in CH shouldn't be discounted purely on it's cartoons thought I think.


Jerome Besson said...

"And he's far more important than those french cartoonists. The world produces many cartoonists, "

J'ai lu beaucoup de conneries pendant ma chienne de vie. But yours takes the cake, mon ami.


Huub said...

Where are the freedom-loving Cantonese & Taiwanese spontaneously holding up signs for Jimmy Lai?

On the same evening of the Charlie Hebdo attack, over a hundred demonstrations were held in Holland. Only the day after, the mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht (and others) called on doing so in the days to follow. In France, a few hours after the attack around 30,000 people gathered in Paris holding 'Je suis Charlie' and 'Not Afraid' signs. Holding such a sign in Paris supporting an often highly controversial magazine in full view of the world press takes more courage than holding up a 'I am Jimmy Lai' sign in Hong Kong. Printing (and selling!) one Charlie Hebdo after the attack takes much more courage than printing or selling a ‘Next’ or ‘Apple Daily’.

It was only later, and because of spontaneous public outpouring, that Europe's politicians, including those who suppress freedom of speech in their own countries, felt they had to join the January 11 demonstration. The press then focused on those '40 world leaders' in that march, yet I don't believe that the +1million people who decided to march in Paris that day came out to support those particular men and women in black.

I agree with Michael: support for Jimmy Lai should come, spontaneously, from the public in Hong Kong, Taiwan - and beyond. This will not happen. The public here possesses a much more laissez-faire, read: detached, mindset compared to their European counterparts.

Anyway, thanks Michael for your commitment to freedom in Taiwan.

Anonymous said...

What if I'd say "the world produces many anti-communist entrepreneurs/publishers"?
Comme a dit Mr. Besson: tu a ecrit une connerie de mauvais gout Michael...