January 29, 2023

The Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, says it will close

Hong Kong – Apple Daily, A pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong said Wednesday that it would suspend a move Pressure campaign By the authorities who destroyed media freedom in the city.

The newspaper said it would stop printing and publishing online by Thursday, less than a week after police froze its accounts, raided its offices and arrested top teachers.

The closure will silence one of the city’s largest and most aggressive media outlets, which will broaden the horizons. National Security Act Imposed in Beijing by Hong Kong. Since its enactment nearly a year ago, the law has sent a chill through Hong Kong’s once-independent independent media as they move into a treacherous environment where speech can be a potential crime.

In recent months, there have been officers Moved to modify RTHK, a public broadcaster with a difficult journalistic history. Police warn against mediaFake news. “In April, the court issued false statements to a journalist who had criticized the police.

The The first test Under the National Security Act, which opened Wednesday, the case provides a signal of the criminality of political speech. The defendant, in part, is accused of inciting separatism to show an anti-independence slogan.

The Apple Daily has been a thorn in the side of the Chinese Communist Party for decades, and Beijing has long been targeting its founder. Jimmy Loy, For his criticism of Chinese and Hong Kong officials. Rumors, irrelevant, investigative and in-depth politics, the newspaper provided significant information to the opposition movement in 2019. It invited first-page headlines to take readers down the street. Once the law came into force, it repeatedly warned that Hong Kong’s freedoms were under threat.

A few weeks after the passage of the Security Act, authorities quickly moved to control the media. In August, Mr. Lai was arrested by police at his home and sent to the newsroom by hundreds of police officers.

Police raided the newsroom again last Thursday and arrested two senior executives and three top teachers on suspicion of being linked to “foreign elements that could endanger a foreign country or national security.” On Wednesday, they arrested another journalist, Yung Sing-ki, who wrote columns and editorials for the newspaper.

Mr. Li Ping uses the pen name. Wrote last year The Communist Party of China and its allies in Hong Kong have decided to “strangle the Apple Daily and kill Hong Kong’s press and freedom of speech.”

“Even as the Democratic world raises approval measures against them, they will intensify repression and lawsuits against Apple Daily in the hope that they will succumb to pressure or stop publishing,” he wrote.

Mr Loyne’s media empire, which made its first fortune in clothing, has followed evolution Of Hong Kong. After the bloody repression of the anti-Tiananmen movement in 1989, Mr. Loy continued media efforts. He founded Apple Daily in 1995, two years before Hong Kong was recaptured by China.

“I made enough money for my life,” he said Told the New York Times last year. “I said, ‘OK, let’s go into the media, because I trust the media by providing information. You really give freedom.’

He was expected to be arrested under the National Security Act In a guest article in the New York Times Since returning to China from Hong Kong on May 29, 1997, the Communist Party has written that “he feared that not only Hong Kong’s free newspapers, but also its free people would be exhausted.”

He wrote that the Defense Act would “mark the end of free expression and the many desired personal freedoms in the city.” “Hong Kong is moving from the rule of law to the rule of law, and the Communist Party of China is deciding all the new rules of this game,” he wrote.

Last week, Ryan Law, CEO of Apple Daily, and Seung Kim-Hung, CEO of Next Digital, were accused of conspiring with foreign powers under a security law. They have been denied bail.

Mr. Law and Mr. Mr. Cheung and Mr. Lao has been accused of plotting to impose sanctions against Hong Kong. Last year, the United States imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese authorities over its ban on Beijing. Since the Security Act came into force on July 1, more than 50 people, including the city’s most prominent opposition politicians, have been charged with trespassing.

He is serving a 20-month sentence for illegal assembly charges. Loy has also been charged with violating the National Security Act. He faces a life sentence.

Apple Daily’s fate was confirmed last week when Hong Kong officials froze Apple Daily’s bank accounts. With the newspaper’s accounts closed, Mr. Loy’s assistant, Mark Simon, said Apple could not pay Daily employees or receive money from vendors.

On Monday, the newspaper said it had asked the government to freeze its accounts. If the authorities do not back down, Apple Daily will decide over the weekend whether its board will close. Mr. Plans were expedited Wednesday after Jung was arrested.

In the final days of the Apple Daily, employees discussed whether they could continue to work and worry about increasing the risk that they too would be arrested. Some wanted to stay until the last moment. I don’t think there is any point in pulling out the inevitable of others.

As the newspaper made its last request to release its accounts, some departments began to resign en masse. Hours after the video department was signed, its English language department released a brief announcement of its last update on Tuesday.

“The path forward will be difficult,” said the host of the evening online broadcast. “We want peace for all.”

The rest are preparing to divide their time between daily news and refer to the dark as a “condolence issue”.