fredag 18. juni 2021

‘Worst of times’: Hong Kong media defiant amid police crackdown

Apple Daily’s journalism has ruffled feathers since its establishment in 1995. A populist Hong Kong tabloid owned by Jimmy Lai, a pro-Trump media mogul and now jailed activist, the paper is fond of sensational crime stories, celebrity gossip, and investigations into government scandals and corruption. It’s a vocal supporter of the pro-democracy movement, a thorn in the side of police, and has become a symbol of resistance against Hong Kong’s crackdown.

Hong Kong’s police commissioner has accused it of creating hatred. Pro-Beijing media have called for it to be shut down. Lai has said the paper is on the right side of history. The raid by police on Thursday on its newsroom – Apple Daily’s second in less than a year – and on the homes of five of its executives, with an unprecedented warrant under Hong Kong’s national security law allowing the seizure of journalistic materials, has appeared to confirm fears that the government’s crackdown on media was now coming for its loudest critic.

Authorities said the five arrested executives, including its editor-in chief, Ryan Law, were accused of conspiring to collude with foreign forces, through the publication of more than 30 unspecified articles, breaching one of the most serious clauses of the draconian national security law introduce nearly one year ago.