Five board members of the newspaper Apple Daily were arrested Thursday morning local time by police in Hong Kong. AP news agency reports that the five were arrested at home, while about two hundred police officers raided the editorial office of the pro-democratic newspaper. Among others, the editor-in-chief Ryan Law and the director of the parent company of Apple Daily have been arrested.
According to the authorities, the five might be collaborating with “foreign elements” and thereby endanger national security. The police operation was conducted under Hong Kong’s security law passed last year, allowing authorities to crush some anti-Chinese opposition. Several opposition leaders, including those involved in the earlier protests in Hong Kong, have been arrested since the law was enacted.
Apple Daily is one of the few newspapers to make a pro-democracy sound and report critically on China’s influence in Hong Kong. The newspaper was also raided last year, when founder Jimmy Lai was arrested. He is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence for his role in the earlier protests in Hong Kong.