Apple Daily journalist arrested at Hong Kong airport: reports

Beijing, Jun 28 (EFE).- A senior journalist of the now-closed Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily was arrested at Hong Kong airport while to trying to leave the city for the United Kingdom, public broadcaster RTHK reported Monday.

Fung Wai-kong, an editor and columnist at the daily, was arrested on Sunday night for “conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security,” the police said in a statement, according to RTHK.

The newspaper printed its final issue on Thursday, just a week after the arrest of several executives for alleged conspiracy to collude with foreign forces, a crime under the national security law that China imposed on the former British colony.

The Hong Kong authorities used that same accusation when freezing the company’s assets, and cited more than 30 published articles as evidence of police allegations of conspiracy to encourage international sanctions on the governments of Beijing and Hong Kong.

“We are afraid that they (police) have a list and still many journalists or commentary writers will be targeted by the police. So I’m afraid that the arrests will continue,” Hong Kong Journalists Association chairman, Ronson Chan, told the outlet, adding it was worrying arrests were continuing despite the paper’s closure.

“We are still very confused as to what is the standard of committing a crime under the national security law. We are still worried that writing reports, comments or editorials would be evidence of committing crime,” he said.

Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, one of the best-known figures in the Hong Kong pro-democracy opposition, is in jail and also faces various charges relating to national security law.

The national security law establishes penalties of up to life imprisonment for the crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism or “conspiring with foreign forces.”

The legislation has been strongly criticized by the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, which considers that the regulations will make it possible to punish dissidents and reduce the autonomy and freedoms of the territory. EFE


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