(ANSA) - BEIJING, JUN 18 - Copies of Apple Daily, Hong Kong's pro-democracy tabloid, went on sale despite the monstrous number of 500 thousand units that ended up in newsstands, instead of the traditional 80 thousand. In the aftermath of the police blitz with 500 officers in the newspaper's editorial office and the arrests of its director Ryan Law and the humors of the publishing company Next Digital, the residents of the former colony expressed their solidarity for a spectacular action that jeopardizes the freedom of the press. , part of an investigation to see if certain items were a threat to China's national security.
The popular newspaper founded 26 years ago by Jimmy Lai, imprisoned at the end of 2020, combines interventions in favor of the academy with gossip about celebrities and investigations against those in power: some newsstands in the center have already published the announcement in the early morning already completely exhausted for the Apple Daily.
The police, in addition to the 5 arrests, have frozen assets worth 2.3 million dollars of assets owned by three companies associated with the newspaper. Yesterday's blitz was the second in the tabloid's editorial staff, after the one carried out last year with the arrest of the tycoon Jimmy Lai, pro-democracy activist and convinced critic from Beijing, owner of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily. Also this time the newspaper issued a similar number of copies to the one following Lai's arrest in August 2020.
Today's front page reported the raid with the 500 agents, noting the seizure of 44 memory discs as evidence and the investigation that, for the first time, points to media articles as potentially in violation of national security law. imposed by Beijing in June 2020 in response to the 2019 mass pro-democracy protests.
The EU and Britain criticized the raid, confirming that China is using the law to crack down on dissension rather than dealing with public safety, while the United States they claimed that the "selective" use of the law "arbitrarily" targeted independent media. (HANDLE).