Shanghai, China, Jul 21 (EFE).- The Hong Kong Police on Wednesday arrested Lam Man-chung, former executive editor-in-chief of the recently dissolved pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.
Lam, 51, is accused of “conspiracy to collude with foreign forces,” according to national broadcaster RTHK.
The crime falls under the national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong a year ago, and provides for sentences of up to life imprisonment for those convicted.
The detainee is thought to be the eighth executive of Apple Daily or Next Digital – the Daily’s parent company – to be arrested since June after a police operation against the publication founded by Jimmy Lai, one of the best-known figures of the city’s opposition pro-democracy movement, and currently in jail for protest related convictions.
On June 17, the Hong Kong Police unit created to enforce the national security law raided the newspaper’s headquarters and arrested five executives.
Police cited more than 30 published articles as evidence of their allegations of conspiracy to encourage international sanctions on the governments of Beijing and Hong Kong.
Later, the security forces detained two other senior officials from the newspaper, one of them at the Hong Kong airport when he was trying to catch a flight to the United Kingdom.
The police also froze HK$18 million ($2.32 million) in assets of Apple Daily Limited, Apple Daily Printing Limited and Apple Daily Intellect Limited.
The resulting lack of funds caused the newspaper to close its doors 26 years after its founding and publishing its final edition on June 24.
The judicial process drew criticism from the local opposition, Western countries and organizations such as Amnesty International, who considered it a new attack against press freedom, while both the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities defended the actions. EFE