China Persecution Forces Hong Kong Newspaper to End Publication

Copies of the Apple Daily are for sale at a newsstand in Hong Kong, China, on June 23, 2021.| Photo: JEROME FAVRE/Agência EFE/Gazeta do Povo

The pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, from Hong Kong, announced that it will close the print publication and the digital edition this Thursday (24). The decision was taken by the board of Next Media, which owns the newspaper, after the assets of three group companies were frozen by Hong Kong police in an investigation accusing group executives of “collusion with foreign powers” over articles – the police did not say which ones – about sanctions by Western countries against China and Hong Kong that were published by the Apple Daily. The charges are based on Hong Kong’s national security law.

The state repression also resulted in the arrest of five directors and editors of the group who, according to police, were related to the publication of the articles and, on Wednesday morning, a columnist for the Apple Daily, who signed their texts as Li Ping, was also detained. The group’s owner, Jimmy Lai, has been in prison since last year, accused of participating in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019.

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