Criticism of Apple Daily raid is attempt to ‘beautify’ security threats: HK leader
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam hit back on Tuesday against criticism of authorities’ actions against pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily as attempts to “beautify” acts that endangered national security.
Hundreds of police raided the newspaper last week as part of a national security probe in which senior Apple Daily executives were arrested over allegations of “collusion with a foreign country” and HK$18 million ($2.3 million) in assets frozen.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Police have said dozens of Apple Daily articles may have violated the security law, the first instance of authorities targeting media articles under the legislation.
Rights groups, media organizations and Western governments have criticized the actions and expressed concern over freedom of the press and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US was deeply concerned by “selective” and “politically motivated” use of the security law.
Speaking at her regular weekly news conference, Lam singled out the US comments, telling reporters the accusations were wrong and applied double standards. She said the actions taken by authorities did not target press freedom.
“Don’t try to underplay the significance of breaching the national security law,” Lam said. “Don’t try to beautify these acts of endangering national security.”
“And don’t try to accuse the Hong Kong authorities for using the national security law as a tool to suppress the media or to stifle the freedom of expression,” she added.
On Monday, Mark Simon, an adviser to the jailed Apple Daily owner and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai, told Reuters the media outlet would be forced to shut down in “a matter of days”.
Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law and Chief Executive Officer Cheung Kim-hung were charged with conspiracy to commit collusion with a foreign country and denied bail on Saturday. Three other senior executives were released pending further investigation.
Apple Daily has come under increasing pressure since Lai was arrested last year under the legislation. Lai, whose assets have also been frozen under the security law, is already serving a prison sentence for taking part in unauthorized assemblies.
According to an internal staff memo seen by Reuters, the tabloid looks set to close for good by Saturday.
Adviser to jailed HK tycoon Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily to shut within days
Apple Daily editor, CEO denied bail in Hong Kong
Crowds gather for hearing of two Apple Daily executives on national security charge
Hong Kong tabloid Apple Daily to suspend paper if accounts remain frozenNext Digital Ltd. plans to stop publishing Apple Daily later this week if authorities don’t allow access to its bank accounts, and will make a final ... World News
Hong Kong’s Apple Daily says only has enough cash for few weeks after assets frozenHong Kong’s pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily said on Sunday the freezing of its assets in a national security probe had left the newspaper with cash ... World News
Adviser to jailed HK tycoon Jimmy Lai says Apple Daily to shut within daysHong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will be forced to shut “in a matter of days” after authorities froze the company’s assets under a ... World News