Hong Kong: Hong Kong police have arrested five editors and executives of a pro-democracy newspaper on charges of conspiring with foreign powers by using a sweeping national security law on Thursday. This is the first time that the law has been used against the media in another sign of the strong resolve of Chinese authorities in the city, which is now known for its independence.
Police said in a press conference that they got evidence for more than 30 articles that have been published by Apple Daily that played a “crucial part” in a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions against China and Hong Kong. Moreover, Hong Kong Security Secretary John Lee added, “This case involves a conspiracy; the police raid has targeted at those who use journalism as a “tool to endanger national security.”
Senior superintendent Steve Li of the police’s national security department stated that 18 million Hong Kong dollars in assets related to the newspaper have frozen. These assets are owned by three companies as under:
- Apple Daily,
- Apple Publishing
- A.D. Internet Limited.
The Apple Daily newspaper stated that the move left it “speechless,” but they promise to continue its reporting, and along with this, they have invited other media outlets to watch the Friday editions, which will show commitment to continuing its work.
What is Apple Daily actually?
Apple Daily is a Hong Kong tabloid-style newspaper. It was founded in 1995 by Jimmy Lai. Along with this, the entertainment magazine Next Magazine, Apple Daily, is also part of Next Digital. The paper publishes print and digital editions in Chinese, as well as a digital-only English edition.
Who is arrested?
According to our research, the police arrested include Apple Daily’s chief editor Ryan Law, the CEO of Next Digital, Cheung Kim-hung; the publisher’s chief operating officer; and two other top editors, according to the newspaper. Moreover, Hong-Kong Police had also frozen $2.3 million in assets belonging to three companies linked to Apple Daily, stated Li Kwai-wah, a senior superintendent at Hong Kong’s National Security Department.