July 25, 2021

The Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, says it will close

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily said on Wednesday it would suspend operations, citing concerns about the state of media freedom in the city, officials said in a statement. .

The newspaper said it would stop printing and publishing online by Thursday, after police froze its accounts last week and arrested top teachers and administrators.

The closure will silence one of the city’s largest and most aggressive media outlets, highlighting the wide range of security legislation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing last year. The Apple Daily has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party for decades, and Beijing has long targeted its founder, Jimmy Lai, for criticizing Chinese and Hong Kong officials.

Police raided Apple Daily’s newsroom last Thursday and arrested two senior executives and three top teachers. On Wednesday, they arrested another journalist, Yung Sing-ki, who wrote columns and editorials for the newspaper.

Mr. Li Ping uses the pen name. Wrote last year The Communist Party of China and its allies in Hong Kong have decided to “strangle the Apple Daily and kill Hong Kong’s press and freedom of speech.”

“Even as the Democratic world raises approval measures against them, they will intensify repression and lawsuits against Apple Daily in the hope that they will succumb to pressure or stop publishing,” he wrote.

Hong Kong officials last week froze Apple Daily’s bank accounts, making it impossible for employees and vendors to make payments. Mr. Lloyd’s assistant Mark Simon said Monday that the newspaper’s accounts were closed because it could not pay employees or receive money from vendors.

Ryan La, CEO of Apple Daily, and Seung Kim-Hung, CEO of Next Digital, have been accused of plotting to form an alliance with foreign powers under the Security Act. They have been denied bail.

Mr. Law and Mr. Mr. Cheung and Mr. Lao has been accused of plotting to impose sanctions against Hong Kong, in violation of security law. Last year, the United States imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese authorities over its ban on Beijing.

He is serving a 20-month sentence for illegal assembly charges. Loy has also been charged with violating the National Security Act. He faces a life sentence.

After earning his first fortune in clothing, Mr. Loy continued his media campaign after the bloody repression of the anti-Tiananmen movement in 1989.

“I made enough money for my life,” he said Told the New York Times last year. “I said, ‘OK, let’s go into the media, because I trust the media by providing information. You really give freedom.’

Mr. Loyne’s publications followed celebrity rumors and political scandals with equal intent. But Beijing identified him as one of its leading rivals in Hong Kong, prompting widespread anti-government protests that erupted in 2019.

He was expected to be arrested under the National Security Act In a guest article in the New York Times Since Hong Kong’s return to China on May 29, 1997, he has feared that the Communist Party will “tire not only Hong Kong’s independent press, but also its free people.”

He wrote that the National Security Act would “mark the end of free expression and the many desired personal freedoms in the city.” “Hong Kong is moving from the rule of law to the rule of law, and the Communist Party of China is deciding all the new rules of this game,” he wrote.