- Around 500 police officers showed up in force at the headquarters of pro-democracy Hong Kong paper Apple Daily.
- They sorted through documents and arrested five newspaper execs in an early-morning raid.
- Last year, 200 police officers raided the newspaper’s offices and arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who remains in prison.
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Around 500 police officers showed up in force at the headquarters of Hong Kong pro-democracy paper Apple Daily, arresting five of the paper’s top executives in an early-morning raid.
The 500 officers were seen barging into the paper’s office at Tseung Kwan O around dawn with a warrant to seize journalistic materials under the country’s national security law, per a Reuters report.
Apple Daily confirmed in a Facebook post that the five people arrested in the raid on Thursday morning included the paper’s editor-in-chief Ryan Law, CEO Cheung Kim-hung, chief financial officer Chow Tat-kuen, deputy chief editor Chan Pui-man, and digital director Cheung Chi-wai.
A five-hour live stream of the raid showed police officers milling about both outside and inside the building, going through documents, and searching the offices.
This is the second time that the paper’s headquarters have been stormed by the city’s cops. Last August, 200 cops raided the Apple Daily headquarters and led media tycoon Jimmy Lai — the paper’s founder — out of the building in handcuffs.
Lai was sentenced this April to 14 months in prison for his role in the 2019 pro-democracy protests that swept the city.
Per a report by the South China Morning Post, the senior superintendent of the city’s national security unit Steve Li Kwai-wah announced Thursday that the company’s assets were frozen. This constitutes around $2.32 million in funds.
“We are not targeting the media, but only an organization that is allegedly violating Article 29 of the national security law. We value the freedom of the press,” Li said during a press briefing attended by the SCMP.
Article 29 states that it’s an offense if a person “steals, spies, obtains with payment, or unlawfully provides State secrets or intelligence concerning national security for a foreign country or an external element.”
Li also said during the briefing that staff at Apple Daily should “be careful,” and not run afoul of the law.
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