Another Apple Daily editor is detained by Hong Kong police under security laws.
On Wednesday morning, national security officers seized a former senior editor of Hong Kong’s suppressed pro-democracy daily Apple Daily.
Former executive editor-in-chief Lam Man-chung has been detained, according to a police source.
According to authorities, a 51-year-old former newspaper editor was arrested for “collusion with foreign forces,” a national security violation.
Lam is the sixth Apple Daily employee to be detained under a broad national security statute enacted by Beijing last year in response to massive and frequently violent democratic rallies in Hong Kong.
Lam’s girlfriend told Citizen News that the arrest happened early in the morning at Lam’s home. His computers and cellphones were taken by police for further investigation.
“One wouldn’t be unprepared psychologically (for this) nowadays working in journalism,” she told Citizen News.
After its top leadership was jailed and its assets were frozen under the security law, Apple Daily, an outspoken supporter of democracy, published its final edition last month.
Lam was the editor in charge of the final edition, which marked the end of the paper’s 26-year history.
Apple Daily’s reporting and editorials, according to authorities, endorsed calls for international penalties against China, a political stance that is now illegal under the new security law.
Jimmy Lai, the tabloid’s owner, is currently incarcerated on charges of collusion, along with two other executives who have been granted bail.
If convicted, they might spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Two of the paper’s top editorial writers, one of whom was stopped at Hong Kong’s airport as he attempted to flee the city, are among those arrested but not yet charged.
The abrupt demise of the newspaper served as a strong reminder to all media outlets in the region about the reach of a new national security law in a city that once styled itself as a bastion of press freedom.
As China remoulds the once outspoken business powerhouse in its own authoritarian image, the Hong Kong Journalists Association declared last week that media freedoms are “in shreds.”