Hong Kong authorities have formally charged two of the five employees arrested after a crackdown on the pro-democracy newspaper, the Apple Daily, on Friday. The police said that under the so-called Security Act, they are accused of “collusion with another country or with external elements with the aim of endangering national security”. The pro-democracy tabloid increased its circulation to 500,000 copies.
According to the newspaper, the two are editor-in-chief Ryan Low and CEO Cheung Kim-hong. According to the police, they should appear before a judge on Saturday. The other three suspects remain in custody and are being questioned.
On Thursday, five senior employees were arrested during a massive police operation at the “Apple Daily” and computers and newspaper assets were confiscated. Authorities in China’s special administrative region said the newspaper called for “sanctions” against Hong Kong and Beijing’s leadership.
Meanwhile, the pro-democracy tabloid has increased its Friday print run from 80,000 to 500,000 copies. A similarly large circulation was printed after publisher Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy activist and strong critic of Beijing, was arrested last August.
This time too, the paper assumes that there will be strong demand from its readers. On the front page of the Friday edition, Apple Daily reported on the raid, noting that police confiscated 44 hard drives as evidence.
Police officers also searched journalists’ computers and their phones. This was the first time that the police took action against a mediator on the basis of the Security Act. Police confiscated assets equivalent to nearly two million euros from three companies linked to “Apple Daily”.
The Apple Daily and its jailed owner Jimmy Lai, with their open support for Hong Kong’s democratic movement, have long been a thorn in the side of the leadership in Beijing that has previously been trying to suppress aspirations for more democracy. British Crown Colony.
The Chinese leadership issued the so-called security law, on the basis of which the Apple Daily employees were arrested, in response to mass protests against Beijing’s growing influence in Hong Kong. It allows authorities to crack down on any activity they believe threatens China’s national security. Violations can be punished with life imprisonment.
“Food practitioner. Bacon guru. Infuriatingly humble zombie enthusiast. Total student.”