Hong Kong police launched a raid today (17), the arrest of Next Media Group, Apple Daily 5 senior, and mobilized more than 100 police officers to blockade and search the Apple building. This incident has aroused the attention of foreign media, not only the British media “BBC” headlines, even Reuters also said that the arrest warrant “for the first time authorized the police to collect news materials”, Hong Kong’s freedom of the press is worried.
Reuters reported that around 7:30 a.m. local time, about 100 police officers arrived at the Apple Daily headquarters and cordoned off the area. Pictures released by Apple show police officers sitting at desks using reporters’ computers and reporters unable to go to certain floors to retrieve their laptops or equipment.
The arrests were aimed at gathering evidence for a case under Hong Kong’s version of the National Security Law, and the warrant “authorizes the police to collect journalistic material for the first time,” further raising public concerns about press freedom in Hong Kong, the newspaper said. Mark Simon, a personal adviser to Lai Chi-ying, told Reuters, “They arrested the top editor, which is a blatant attack on the Apple editorial board.”
Hong Kong officials charged Lai with colluding with foreign powers last year and took him into custody for violating Hong Kong’s version of the National Security Law when more than 200 Hong Kong police officers entered the Apple Daily building to search it. Today, Apple was “purged” again, and it is reported that the five senior executives arrested were One Media Group CEO Zhang Jianhong, Chief Operating Officer Zhou Daquan, Apple Daily Editor-in-Chief Luo Weiguang, Vice President Chen Pei Min and Executive Editor-in-Chief Zhang Zhiwei.