Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-06-17 06:05:00 –
Hong Kong >> Hong Kong police arrested five editors and executives on Thursday for the first time using a drastic national security law against democratic newspapers on charges of conspiracy with foreign powers.
Police said more than 30 articles published by Apple Daily in response to the crackdown on Chinese civil liberties in the semi-autonomous region “important role” in foreign plots to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong. The city said it had strong evidence that it had fulfilled.
Apple Daily often criticizes the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for tightening control of the city and returning to Beijing’s promise that the territory could remain free when it was handed over from the United Kingdom in 1997.
Jimmy Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, is now 20 against his role in an unauthorized rally in 2019, when Hong Kong saw a large-scale anti-government protest for universal suffrage and democratic freedom. I have been sentenced to a month’s imprisonment.
Li Kwai-wah, a senior police officer at the National Security Agency in Hong Kong, said police also frozen $ 2.3 million worth of assets belonging to three companies associated with Apple Daily.
More than 200 police officers were involved in the search for Apple Daily’s office, and the government said a warrant had been obtained to look for evidence of alleged violations of national security law.
According to Apple Daily, South China Morning Post, and other local media, the arrests were Apple Daily Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung, the publisher’s CEO, and two other editors. ..
Hong Kong security minister John Lee said at a news conference that police would investigate both Apple Daily companies and others to see if they helped incite or fund crime.
He said police actions against Apple Daily editors and executives had nothing to do with “normal journalism work.”
“This action targeted the use of journalism activities as a tool to jeopardize national security,” he said, warning him to stay away from those under investigation as he is not a “normal journalist.” did.
He said that anyone engaged in journalism work in Hong Kong must comply with laws, including the National Security Act.
“The point here is, don’t collusion with or collude with these perpetrators, or you’ll pay a lot of money,” Lee said. “Keep yourself away from them, or you have only regrets left.”
Chris Young, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, said at an online press conference that the arrest and assault of Apple Daily could have a chilling effect on society. He expressed concern about the use of national security law as “a weapon to prosecute media executives and journalists for publishing reports and articles that are considered a threat to national security.”
He said a court warrant that allowed police to search Apple Daily’s office undermined journalists’ ability to protect their materials, which are essential in supporting press freedom.
“Self-censorship will be exacerbated if journalists are uncertain whether they can protect their sources,” Yong said. “I urge the government to provide details of the case as soon as possible to alleviate concerns about freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”
National security legislation imposed by Beijing outlaws withdrawal, destruction, terrorism, and foreign collusion. The law has been used to arrest more than 100 democratic activists since it first came into force in June last year, and many others have fled abroad, disagreeing with the city. It was virtually silent.
In response, the United States has accused Hong Kong and Chinese officials (including city leader Carrie Lam) of imposing sanctions and undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Next Digital stock trading was suspended Thursday morning, according to a notice from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. There was no reason to stop.
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