Before the closure of Hong Kong’s Apple Daily, more than 500 police officers searched Next Media’s headquarters and the Apple Daily newspaper in the name of the National Security Law, arresting five senior executives and detaining even the pseudonymous lead writer who wrote the editorial. The BBC interviewed a Mr. Chen in the “Hong Kong Apple” said that his most personal feeling is fear, “this time is even the interview information is not spared, I do not mind you go through our computer, we do is a legitimate interview, Hong Kong should have freedom of the press, but you do not ask for it, in fact, just want to create white fear, we are very worried about what you want. “
Editorial and mining colleagues are all at risk, so the Apple Daily allows employees do not need to follow the contract requirements, can choose to leave the same day. Mr. Chen is also a member of the choice to resign, “you will worry about the next day at 6:00 a.m., there will be national security personnel to call you to assist in the investigation, and every day in the fear and white terror, but everyone has a different degree of acceptance of that fear, “Apple” employees have done their best to protect freedom of the press, to last a few more days, it does not seem to change the company, the freedom of the press. “
Some people have asked themselves to leave, but others have chosen to stick around until the last minute. Hong Kong “end media” interviewed the choice to stay until the last moment of the medical team of senior reporter Li Qingxuan, she was once worried: “I come back to this company, will it really be back to the scene of the crime?” But still returned to the newspaper, “I know some colleagues also came back, if the police really come in again, there must be a witness.” Another only in the “Hong Kong Apple” work seven months Zheng Zicong said, “I very instinctively want to accompany the matter, accompany the company to the end. That last is, in addition to work, also want to support each other with them.”
The chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief editor, vice president and executive editor of “Hong Kong Apple” were arrested on charges of “conspiracy to endanger national security by colluding with foreign countries or forces abroad” under Article 29 of the Hong Kong National Security Law, but the “evidence” released so far is full of However, the “evidence” released so far consists of more than 100 reports, commentaries and editorials published in the public domain, and there is no evidence of “conspiracy to collaborate with foreign countries or forces outside the country” in any of them. In other words, the Hong Kong government and the Communist Party have completely ignored the process of press production and criminalized it entirely on the basis of speech. With their ever-moving red line standard, in the future, not only the speech advocating Hong Kong independence, calling on foreign countries to face up to the current situation in Hong Kong and sanctioning the Hong Kong government will be criminalized, but also even the two-sided reports and well-intentioned admonishing and reminding speech may be criminalized. It is not too much to say that this is the end of press freedom in Hong Kong.
As journalists, we know firsthand the evil of self-censorship when we have to face an uncertain red line when producing news and commentary, and fear possible penalties, so we have to weigh the words in our articles. But freedom of the press has never been the concern of the Communist Party and the current Hong Kong government. What they are putting on the Apple Daily is to make all Hong Kong people feel afraid, not only to spread this fear among other media in Hong Kong, but also to make Hong Kong people forget the rule of law and freedom they once had, and finally become a city exactly like mainland China.
To this day, many people still look at the dramatic changes in Hong Kong over the past two years with the argument that “if we hadn’t done what we did, we wouldn’t be like this now. These arguments include: if the “Send China Ordinance” had been allowed to pass, there would not have been the subsequent “National Security Law”; if we had insisted on peace and justice, the Communist Party might not have tightened its control over Hong Kong across the board. This kind of self-examination, which the Communist Party wants to shape to the Hong Kong society, does not help at all to understand the current situation in Hong Kong and the nature of Hong Kong’s problems.
The real crux of the Hong Kong problem is that the Communist Party has fundamentally and completely broken its promises to the world regarding Hong Kong, resulting in Hong Kong becoming a victim of the Chinese government’s own policies. As former U.S. government China policy adviser Yu Maochun has said, the Hong Kong issue reflects a confrontation between China and the world at large. This confrontation ultimately influences the judgment of the United States (the West) about China’s relationship with the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and reflects the Communist Party’s own internal fears.
Under tyranny, the greatest fear is that the people still harbor hope. The last night of “Apple”, Hong Kong people flocked to line up to buy “Apple Daily”, just means that Hong Kong people’s heart is not dead. 26 years of “Apple Daily” turned off their last light in Hong Kong, but “Apple” fell down, and more apples will grow, and Hong Kong people are still trying hard to compete with this tyranny than gas long.