Author: Cheng Yihua
Last update date: 2021-06-17 22:14
After the Hong Kong Police National Security Department arrested five directors and senior officials of Next Media Group on June 17, and searched the Apple Daily building with a court warrant, the United Kingdom and the European Union voiced separately on the same day, criticizing China for using national security laws to target dissidents.
Nabila Massrali, spokesperson for EU foreign affairs and security policy, said in a statement that the search operation further demonstrates how the National Security Law has been used to stifle freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Hong Kong.
She also stated that "all the existing rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents must be fully protected, including freedom of the press and the press."
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Dominic Raab) Lan Taowen tweeted that the search and arrest in Hong Kong’s Apple Daily today demonstrated Beijing’s use of national security laws to target dissident voices rather than respond to public safety.
He said that press freedom is one of the rights that China promised to protect in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and should be respected.
Today's raids & arrests at Apple Daily in Hong Kong demonstrate Beijing is using the National Security Law to target dissenting voices, not tackle public security. Freedom of the press is one of the rights China promised to protect in the Joint Declaration & should be respected.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 17, 2021
The Hong Kong Police National Security Department arrested five Next Media Group directors and senior executives on June 17 on suspicion of violating Article 29 of the "Minato National Security Act" "conspiracy to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security."
The Liaison Office later issued a statement stating that it firmly supports the just actions of the SAR government and the police in strict law enforcement and all efforts to safeguard national security and the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. It also pointed out that freedom of the press is not a "shield" for illegal activities.
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Next Media Apple Daily