Former editor-in-chief Lam Manchung was arrested at his home in the early hours of the morning, local news site Citizen News reported. Police confiscated his computers and mobile phones. Later, two more Apple Day journalists who had previously been released on bail were arrested. Hong Kong police say the arrested journalists are “collaborating with foreign powers.”
The arrests were also made in connection with a national security law enacted a year ago by the Beijing Communist regime. Apple Daily published its latest issue in June after the newspaper’s executives were arrested and its assets frozen. Officials believe the newspaper supports international sanctions against China, which were illegal when the Defense Act was introduced.
The newspaper’s owner, Jimmy Loy, is in jail and charged with “conspiracy” with two executives. They are life threatening if they are abandoned.
The Hong Kong Press Association says the relatively comprehensive freedom of the press and expression that has existed in Hong Kong since it was handed over from the United Kingdom in 1997 has been “ruined.” The National Security Act assumes that anything that the political leadership in Beijing does not like can be concealed in principle.
In another blow to the free media, Hong Kong’s public service television RTHK has imposed strict rules on how employees can talk about Taiwan. Mentioning Taiwan’s leader as “president” or referring to the island’s “government” is now banned. China believes that democratic Taiwan, practically an autonomous country, is part of the People’s Republic and plans to retake the island at some point.