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Hong Kong police used a sweeping national security law Thursday to arrest five editors and executives of a pro-democracy newspaper on charges of colluding with pg slot foreign powers — the first time the legislation has been used against the press in yet another sign of an intensifying crackdown by Chinese authorities in the city long known for its freedoms.
Police said they had evidence that more than 30 articles published by Apple Daily played a “crucial part” in what they called a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions against China and Hong Kong.
The newspaper said in a statement that the move left it “speechless” but vowed to continue its reporting and even invited other media outlets to watch the Friday editions roll off the presses, a show of its commitment to continue its work.
Apple Daily has long been one of the most outspoken defenders of Hong Kong's freedoms and in recent years has often criticized the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for walking back promises that the territory could retain those freedoms for 50 years after the former British colony was handed over. to China in 1997.
The newspaper has thus found itself a frequent target. Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence after being convicted of playing a role in unauthorized protests in 2019, when Hongkongers took the streets in massive antigovernment demonstrations in response to a proposed extradition law that would have allowed suspects to stand. trial in China. Protests grew to include calls for broader democratic freedoms, but the movement only appeared to harden Beijing's resolve to limit civil liberties in the territory, including by imposing the national security law used in Thursday's arrests.
The legislation outlaws secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign collusion and has been used to arrest over 100 pro-democracy figures since it was first implemented a year ago, with many others fleeing abroad. The result is that it has virtually silenced opposition voices in the city — and drawn sanctions from the U.S. against Hong Kong and Chinese government officials.
Those arrested Thursday included Apple Daily's chief editor Ryan Law; the CEO of its publisher Next Digital, Cheung Kim-hung; the publisher's chief operating officer; and two other top editors, according to the newspaper.