Apple Daily editor arrested at Hong Kong airport
editor Apple Daily, a newspaper accused by Hong Kong authorities of violating national security law, was arrested on Sunday At the airport of the former British colony.
At around 10pm (local time), Fung Wai Kong, 57, was arrested by police as he was trying to leave Hong Kong for the UK, sources confirmed to South China Morning Newspaper.
The newspaper, owned by media mogul Jimmy Lai – is currently in prison – and one of Hong Kong’s most widely read newspapers., made history after suspending all of its operations and freezing its accounts, in addition to the arrest of its editor-in-chief, Ryan Low, and other executives.
The police accused the “popular press” of “undermining national security,” using for example nearly thirty articles from Apple Daily, majority comments or opinion articles, in which sanctions against Hong Kong and China have been requested.
for this part, Hong Kong Prime Minister Carrie Lam has defended the arrest of several members of the Apple Daily. He stressed that police work “has nothing to do with normal journalistic work.”
On the other hand, many international press companies have set up their regional headquarters in Hong Kong, and have been attracted by business-friendly regulations and the standards for freedom of expression in the city’s constitution. But many local and international media are now questioning whether they will remain in the former British colony.
Hong Kong has fallen sharply in Reporters Without Borders’ annual press freedom index, from 18th in 2002 to 80th this year.. China remains 177th out of 180 countries, above only Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea.
Authorities in China and Hong Kong praised the security law, saying it succeeded in restoring stability after the 2019 demonstrations, and warning that the media should not “overturn the government”.
Hong Kong has arrested more than 10,000 people as part of the anti-government protests that erupted in 2019. The unrest has led to criticism of the national security law passed by China’s parliament in June 2020. Those arrested include Lai, who is serving a prison sentence for his participation in these protests and other crimes. The international community condemned these arrests and the measures that banned one of Hong Kong’s most critical newspapers.
With information from Europa Press