Home Politics Apple Daily executives face national security charge in HK court | Hong...

Apple Daily executives face national security charge in HK court | Hong Kong Protests News


Two newspaper officials are charged with collusion with foreign powers, raising alarm over media freedoms in the financial hub.

Crowds gathered outside a Hong Kong court early on Saturday as two executives of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily face a charge under the city’s sweeping national security law, in a case that has drawn international condemnation.

Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, 47, and Chief Executive Cheung Kim-hung, 59, were among five Apple Daily executives arrested on Thursday when 500 police raided the outlet’s newsroom, which authorities described as a “crime scene”.

The two arrived in a police van before their hearing.

Both are charged with collusion with foreign powers, raising alarm over media freedoms in the financial hub as authorities intensify a crackdown under the contentious legislation.

The other three, Chief Operating Officer Chow Tat-kuen, Deputy Chief Editor Chan Puiman and Chief Executive Editor Cheung Chi-wai, were released on bail late on Friday, according to Apple Daily.

“I already left Apple Daily due to personal and safety reasons,” said Chan, 37, a former Apple Daily reporter.

“I hope the two being charged can think about themselves first. They also have their families. I worked with them before. We are like friends.”

‘No fear, fight on’

The National Security Law imposed by Beijing in 2020 on the former British colony has brought an authoritarian tone to most aspects of life in Hong Kong, including education and arts.

It punishes what Beijing broadly refers to as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

Police said dozens of the newspaper’s articles were suspected of violating the national security law – the first time media articles have been cited as potentially falling foul of the legislation.

Crowds gathered at dawn on Saturday outside West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts, some holding yellow umbrellas or wearing Apple Daily T-shirts saying, “No fear, fight on.”

 

“Right now, you can be charged with NSL because of a word or a speech that they didn’t like. It’s a big regression,” Lo, 29, a reader of the popular, 26-year-old paper, said.

The arrests and scale of the Apple Daily raid have been criticised by Western nations, global rights groups, press associations and the chief UN spokesperson for human rights.

Apple Daily and its listed publisher Next Digital have come under increasing pressure since their owner, pro-democracy activist and staunch Beijing critic Jimmy Lai, was arrested last year under the legislation.

Lai, whose assets have been frozen under the security law, is already in jail for taking part in unauthorised assemblies and awaiting trial in his national security case.

As investigations into Apple Daily and its senior executives ramp up, some employees and observers have expressed deepening concern about the newspaper’s future.

Since the law was imposed by Beijing in June last year, more than 100 people have been arrested, with most denied bail.





Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Deaths, gunshots reported at Kabul airport as chaos continues | Asia News

All commercial flights cancelled as five people were reportedly killed at the airport as people scramble to leave Afghanistan.At least five people have...

Taliban takes over Kabul, investors worry about the neighbourhood | Business and Economy News

The Taliban’s rapid advance towards Kabul is causing concern not only about Afghanistan’s future but also about the impact on other countries in...

Four Palestinians shot and killed in Israeli army raid in Jenin | Israel-Palestine conflict News

At least four Palestinian men have been shot dead during confrontations with the Israeli army in the Jenin refugee camp in the north...

‘Bring then to safety’: Desperate pleas from Afghan Australians | Human Rights News

Thousands of Afghan Australians are desperately pleading with the Australian government to rescue their wives and children from Kabul as the Taliban takes...

Recent Comments