An unknown assailant attacked an Epoch Times reporter with a baseball bat in Hong Kong on Tuesday, multiple news outlets reported.
“At about 11 a.m. today, an unidentified man attacked [Sarah] Liang, a reporter for The Epoch Times, outside of her apartment complex in the city’s Ho Man Tin area,” the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) wrote on May 11, citing reports by the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), Hong Kong’s The Stand News, and the Epoch Times.
“[T]he assailant ran out of a black vehicle and repeatedly beat Liang’s legs with a bat for about a minute before fleeing in the same car. Liang called the police and was brought at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where she was treated for bruises from the attack [sic],” according to CPJ.
Liang (pictured) spoke to various media outlets outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong’s northern Kowloon district following her assault on Tuesday. She accused members of China’s ruling Communist Party of orchestrating her attack.
“We are experiencing these kinds of triad-style scare tactics to try and intimidate Hong Kong journalists from speaking out,” Liang said, referring to organized crime groups in China and Hong Kong, known locally as triads.
The Epoch Times is a U.S.-based international newspaper and media company that publishes in multiple languages. The company runs a Chinese-language office and printing press in Hong Kong and is known for its criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as its association with Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual movement persecuted by the CCP as a “heretical cult.”
Liang told reporters on Tuesday she managed to record the license plate number of the vehicle used by the assailant to escape after the attack. The journalist said she passed this license plate number on to the Hong Kong police while filing an official report with them over the incident.
“We hope the police will catch the perpetrator as soon as possible, so the government can reassure the international community that Hong Kong is a safe place,” Liang said outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital on May 11.
Liang’s attack comes less than one month after a group of four masked men attacked the Epoch Times‘ printing press in Hong Kong with sledgehammers. CCTV footage released by the Epoch Times’ Hong Kong office “showed four men storming into the printing plant, smashing computers and breaking equipment.
They also tossed what appeared to be a soil-cement mixture into the printing machines,” local news outlet Coconuts Hong Kong reported at the time.