Hong Kong Police Arrest Newspaper Editor under National Security Act

Hong Kong — Hong Kong’s national security police arrested the editor-in-chief of a popular democratization newspaper and searched the company’s newsroom. The most targeted action, including the journalism activities of media organizations, was a year-long crackdown on dissenting opinions.

Apple Daily Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law was filmed Thursday from his home in the Quarry Bay district, handcuffed by police and taken away. The raid was the latest in a series of moves against the newspaper group and its publisher Jimmy Lai. Millionaire Beijing Critic..

Numerous police armed with warrants they said covered the “power of search and seizure of journalism material” under the National Security Act also searched the Apple Daily Newsroom. Newspapers reported that police officers were looking through a computer or looking for a desk.

The other four directors of the company were also arrested. Police said all five were detained on suspicion of “collusion with foreign or external factors to jeopardize national security.”

Steve Lee, a senior police officer, told reporters that the publication had colluded to ask other countries, organizations and individuals to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and China. With more than 30 Apple Daily articles involved, authorities have frozen $ 2.3 million worth from three affiliates (Apple Daily Ltd., Apple Daily Printing Ltd., and AD Internet Ltd.).

Police gathered in the lobby of the Apple Daily office in Hong Kong on Thursday.


/ Associated Press

The article played a decisive role in the plot and provided ammunition to impose sanctions on foreign countries and groups, Lee said.

Publisher Lai is currently serving imprisonment at an unauthorized rally related to protests in the city in 2019. He is also awaiting a trial for foreign conspiracy under the Peace Preservation Law.

last month, Hong Kong police frozen Rye’s assets (including a majority stake in Apple Daily). Pro-Beijing officials are calling on authorities to cover the democratic movement in Hong Kong extensively and shut down the papers that have supported it.

Freedom of the press and other Hong Kong civil liberties have been steadily eroded under national security law, says liberty advocates and media observers. Thursday’s arrest raised new questions about how journalists could report protests that could be considered a breach with the Democratization Promotion Group. National Security Law, Imposed by China almost a year ago.

Broader legislation prohibits acts and words that are considered to promote withdrawal or are considered instigating, and convicted criminals may face long-term imprisonment. Since then, most of the city’s opposition leaders have been imprisoned or fled the city.

Police said they weren’t focused on news activities at the time, but more than 200 police officers raided Apple Daily’s newsroom last August.

In November, authorities accused investigative journalists on public broadcasts, sending chills to the city’s bohemian media industry.

Others arrested Thursday include Chang Kim-hoon and Royston Chow (CEO and CEO of Next Digital, which publish newspapers, respectively), and associate publishers, according to an Apple Daily report. News directors Chang Pui Man and Chang Chi Wai. Their home was also searched.

Police blocked the newsroom and employees were forced to register at a makeshift table, a live paper stream showed. Apple Daily said journalists already in the office were ordered to leave and at least one executive was filmed examining staff’s computer resources.


Position. Police officer Lee said police officers had to look at computers to find evidence.

Police officers obtained personal information about employees who had just arrived, but banned them from entering the office and instructing them to leave or only allow them to enter the cafeteria, Apple Daily said. I reported. An Apple Daily reporter filmed a police search from outside the building and looked into the newsroom through a thick window.

Hong Kong supporters have warned that the constitutionally protected freedom of the press in Hong Kong is rapidly being undermined under Beijing’s categorical control.

Former freelance producer of RTHK, also known as Cai Yu, was convicted and fined in April for searching public databases for car license plate owners. The information was included in the investigation report. RTHK, a government-funded broadcaster with a long-standing reputation for independent reporting, has seen dramatic changes this year as it was led by career bureaucrats with no journalism experience. The broadcaster then pulled the episodes of the show and removed the old show from the YouTube channel.

The host of the radio show was arrested earlier this year under another colonial sedition law.

Write to Elaine Yu at

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Hong Kong Police Arrest Newspaper Editor under National Security Act

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