The ‘Apple Daily’ is known for its pro-democracy stance and has frequently criticized the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for increasing control over the city.
Police gathered outside the Apple Daily newspaper (AFP)
A Hong Kong court on Saturday refused bail to the chief editor of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper ‘Apple Daily’ and the head of its parent company. The first hearing in the case took place after the arrest two days ago under the National Security Act. Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law and Next Digital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cheung Kim-hyung have been accused of colluding with other countries to endanger national security.
The case is being seen as an attack on the freedom of the press in the semi-autonomous Chinese region. Chief Magistrate Victor So said there was no sufficient ground to believe that he would not violate the security law again and ordered him to be kept in the Lai Chi Kok detention centre. The court fixed August 13 for the next hearing.
‘Apple Daily’ critical of Hong Kong governments
Law and Cheung arrived in a white van with their windows completely covered. Before the hearing began, some activists stood outside carrying banners and copies of the ‘Apple Daily’. Three other people arrested on Thursday in the case, two senior editors of Apple Daily and another executive officer, have not yet been charged and were released on bail late Friday.
The ‘Apple Daily’ is known for its pro-democracy stance and has frequently criticized the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for increasing control over the city. It also supported the demonstrations in 2019 demanding more democratic rights and criticized several steps, including the implementation of the National Security Act last year.
America demands release
Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai is serving a 20-month prison sentence after being found guilty of playing a role in unauthorized gatherings, holding rallies and marches. The US imposed sanctions against Chinese and Hong Kong officials for this action and demanded the immediate release of the editors and executives of ‘Apple Daily’.
Asked how to act so that journalists don’t get into trouble, Hong Kong’s Security Secretary John Lee told a news conference this week: “The answer is very simple, you do journalism independently according to the law, and you can’t do anything against anyone.” Do not plot together. Nothing should be done that violates Hong Kong law and national security law.
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