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China sent 500 police officers to pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper offices to arrest 5 leaders in massive show of force

Police officers stand guard outside Apple Daily and Next Media headquarters after police arrest five Apple Daily executives on suspicion of violating new national security law in Hong Kong Lam Yik / Reuters
  • About 500 police officers showed up in force at the headquarters of the pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily.

  • They sorted through documents and arrested five newspaper executives in a morning raid.

  • Last year, 200 police officers raided the newspaper’s offices and arrested media mogul Jimmy Lai, who remains in prison.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

About 500 police officers showed up in force at the headquarters of the pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, arresting five of the newspaper’s top executives in a morning raid.

The 500 officers were seen breaking into the newspaper office in Tseung Kwan O around dawn with a warrant to seize journalistic material under the country’s national security law, according to a Reuters report.

Apple Daily confirmed in a Facebook post that the five people arrested in the Thursday morning raid included newspaper editor Ryan Law, CEO Cheung Kim-hung, CFO Chow Tat-kuen, deputy editor. Chan Pui-man. , and digital director Cheung Chi-wai.

A five-hour live broadcast of the raid showed police moving both outside and inside the building, browsing documents and searching offices.

This is the second time that the newspaper’s headquarters have been stormed by city cops. Last August, 200 cops raided the Apple Daily headquarters and led media mogul Jimmy Lai – the newspaper’s founder – out of the handcuffed building.

Lai was sentenced last April to 14 months in prison for his role in the 2019 pro-democracy protests that swept the city.

According to a South China Morning Post report, the city’s national security unit chief superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah announced Thursday that the company’s assets were frozen. This represents approximately $ 2.32 million in funds.

“We are not targeting the media, only an organization that allegedly violates Article 29 of the National Security Law. We value freedom of the press,” Li said at a press briefing attended by the SCMP. .

Article 29 states that it is an offense if a person “steals, spies on, obtains for remuneration or unlawfully provides state secrets or information concerning the national security of a foreign country or an external element”.

Li also told the briefing that Apple Daily staff should “be careful” and not break the law.

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