Hong Kong, Jul 21 (AP): Hong Kong nationwide safety police on Wednesday charged 4 former senior workers on the now-defunct Apple Daily pro-democracy newspaper over alleged overseas collusion to hazard nationwide safety, weeks after the newspaper was compelled to shut after authorities froze its belongings.
Lam Man-chung, who was the manager editor-in-chief of Apple Daily, was arrested Wednesday, in line with the South China Morning Post newspaper, which cited an unnamed supply. He is the eighth particular person from the newspaper arrested in latest weeks.
Three different former Apple Daily journalists — Associate Publisher and Deputy Chief Editor Chan Pui-man, and editorial writers Fung Wai-kong and Yeung Ching-kee — have been additionally detained Wednesday after their bail was revoked, in line with native media stories.
All 4 have been charged with conspiring to “collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security” under the city’s year-old national security law.
Chan was among five Apple Daily executives and editors arrested on June 17, while Yeung and Fung were arrested days after the police operation. Fung was arrested at the airport while allegedly attempting to leave to the United Kingdom.
Police confirmed that they laid the foreign collusion charges against four people, aged between 51 and 57, but did not identify them. They will appear in court Thursday.
Hong Kong security minister Chris Tang denied that the arrests would trigger a “white terror” — a time period referring to a local weather of concern attributable to political repression — amongst journalists.
“Whoever committed an offense will be arrested, disregarding their background, whatever they do, or what are their professions,” he stated.
“It doesn’t really matter. If they committed an offence, they will be arrested. And if there is any evidence, they will be prosecuted.” The Hong Kong Journalists Association criticised the “repeated targeting of journalists” from Apple Daily, stating that it was “shocked and puzzled” by the arrest of Lam because the newspaper had already ceased operations.
The affiliation additionally requested the federal government to elucidate how information and publishing work which has been legally carried out and is protected below town’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, may endanger nationwide safety.
“Freedom of the press and the freedom to publish are important cornerstones for the success of an international city,” it stated in a press release on its Facebook web page.
In June, police raided the Apple Daily’s places of work, taking away onerous drives and laptops as proof. The arrests of prime executives, editors and journalists on the paper, in addition to the freezing of $2.3 million value of belongings, led it to stop its operations final month. It bought one million copies of its ultimate version.
Following months of anti-government protests in 2019, Beijing final yr imposed a sweeping nationwide safety legislation within the semi-autonomous metropolis that critics say restricts freedoms promised to the previous British colony that aren’t discovered on mainland China.
The legislation criminalises secessionism, subversion, terrorism and overseas collusion to intervene within the metropolis’s affairs. Since it was carried out in June final yr, greater than 100 pro-democracy supporters have been arrested below the legislation, and plenty of others have fled overseas. (AP) SCY SCY
(This story is printed as a part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No enhancing has been performed within the headline or the physique by ABP Live.)