Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Day by day to close down operations

Embattled Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Day by day mentioned Wednesday it’s going to stop operations from midnight — simply hours after police arrested one other worker for allegedly breaching a controversial nationwide safety regulation.

The stress on Apple Day by day main as much as its closure has raised considerations over press freedom in Hong Kong — a semi-autonomous area underneath Chinese language rule.

It comes on the heels of the nationwide safety regulation that got here into drive final yr, which Beijing says is geared toward prohibiting secession, subversion of state energy, terrorism actions and overseas interference.

The logos of Subsequent Media and Apple Day by day seen on their headquarters in Hong Kong on June 22, 2021.

Peter Parks | AFP | Getty Photographs

Apple Day by day mentioned in a press release that its final print version will probably be revealed on Thursday, and its web site won’t be up to date from midnight. Earlier, the newspaper’s writer, Subsequent Digital, mentioned in a separate assertion that the publication will shut down no later than Saturday on account of “present circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.”

The newspaper has come underneath rising stress since its proprietor, media tycoon Jimmy Lai who’s a powerful critic of the Chinese language central authorities, was arrested final yr underneath the nationwide safety regulation. Lai is now in jail and a few of his property had been frozen.

An advisor to Lai instructed Reuters on Monday that the newspaper will probably be compelled to close “in a matter of days” after authorities froze the corporate’s property underneath the safety regulation.

Final week, round 500 law enforcement officials raided the newspaper’s places of work whereas some executives and employees had been arrested on suspicion of colluding with a overseas nation.

U.S. State Division spokesman Ned Worth mentioned following the raid that Washington was “deeply involved by Hong Kong authorities’ selective use of the nationwide safety regulation to arbitrarily goal impartial media organizations.”

Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to Chinese language rule in 1997. On the time, China agreed to manipulate the town underneath a “one nation, two techniques” framework that might enable the Hong Kong folks restricted election rights and a largely separate authorized and financial system.

The nationwide safety regulation in Hong Kong was carried out by Beijing final yr with out going by the semi-autonomous area’s legislature.

Critics of China — who embody pro-democracy activists and a few governments reminiscent of that of the U.S. and the U.Okay. — have accused Beijing of undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

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