Four former Apple Daily employees have been charged with violating Hong Kong’s security laws.
Late Wednesday night, Hong Kong’s national security authorities prosecuted four former top staff members of the defunct pro-democracy daily Apple Daily.
Former deputy chief editor Chan Pui-man, managing editor Fung Wai-kong, and lead editorial writer Yeung Ching-kei of the newspaper, who had already been jailed for “colluding with foreign forces,” were seized again while on police bail, according to local media.
Former executive editor-in-chief Lam Man-chung was detained on Wednesday morning, according to a police source.
Police stated in a late Wednesday statement that they had officially charged four people, ages 51 to 57, with “conspiracy to cooperate with foreign forces.”
On Thursday morning, they will be transported to the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court for a hearing.
Lam is the seventh Apple Daily employee to be arrested in less than a month as a result of a broad national security regulation 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.
Chan, 51, was one of five executives detained in mid-June when the paper’s workplace was stormed by hundreds of security personnel.
Yeung, 55, was arrested days after the police raid using the pen name Li Ping for the paper’s editorials, which convey the editorial board’s official opinions.
After the arrest of its top leadership and an asset freeze under the security law, Apple Daily, an outspoken supporter of democracy, published its final edition on June 23.
Lam, 51, was the editor in charge of the paper’s final edition, which marked the end of its 26-year career.
Fung, 57, a former lead opinion writer for the Apple Daily’s English website, was apprehended at the city’s airport as he attempted to flee just days after the paper was shut down.
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.
The paper’s chief operational officer and another executive chief editor are among those arrested but out on bail.
The quick collapse of the daily served as a sharp message to all media establishments on the planet. Brief News from Washington Newsday.