Hong Kong's Apple Daily raided by police, editors & directors arrested under China's NS Law - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15177194
The Guardian wrote:Hong Kong police arrest editor-in-chief of Apple Daily newspaper in raids
Ryan Law among five directors detained under national security legislation imposed by Beijing

Hong Kong’s national security police have arrested the editor-in-chief and four other directors of the Apple Daily newspaper in early morning raids involving hundreds of officers, over their role in the publication of dozens of articles alleged to be part of a conspiracy to collude with foreign forces.

The city’s security chief, John Lee, accused those arrested of using “journalistic work as a tool to endanger national security”, and issued a chilling warning to residents and other media.

“Normal journalists are different from these people,” Lee said. “Please keep a distance from them.”

The police force’s national security department said the five had been arrested on suspicion of collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, through articles which police said called for sanctions to be imposed on Hong Kong and mainland China. All were arrested at their homes, at around 7am.

Police also searched Apple Daily’s newsroom and its offices, saying the warrant covered “the power of searching and seizure of journalistic materials”. “The operation, still ongoing, aims at gathering evidence for a case of suspected contravention of the national security law,” it said.

Those arrested were named by Apple Daily as editor-in-chief, Ryan Law; the chief executive officer, Cheung Kim-hung; the chief operating officer, Chow Tat-kuen; the deputy chief editor, Chan Puiman; and the chief executive editor, Cheung Chi-wai.

Police also froze HK$18m (US $2.3m) in assets of three companies, Apple Daily Limited, Apple Daily Printing Limited and AD Internet Limited. Parent company, Next Digital, announced the suspension of trading in its shares before markets opened on Thursday.

The police operation is a significant escalation in the government’s moves to stifle Hong Kong’s press, of which the pro-democracy tabloid was widely considered to be a primary target.

Senior superintendent Steve Li Kwai-wah, the head of the police’s national security division, said there was “very strong evidence that the questionable articles played a very crucial part in the conspiracy, which provided ammunition for foreign countries, institutions and organisations to impose sanctions”, adding that those arrested played “a very important role” in their publication.

The articles reportedly date back to 2019. Authorities have made repeated assurances since the implementation of the controversial and wide-ranging national security law in June 2020 that it was not retroactive.

Li said the police valued freedom of the press. “We are not targeting the media, but only an organisation that is allegedly violating article 29 of the national security law.” He warned Apple Daily staff not to reoffend, and other journalists not to bring suspicion upon themselves, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Lee issued a further warning to the city’s press to distance themselves from their Apple Daily colleagues.

“You should not collude with these perpetrators. Do not play cahoots with them, otherwise you will pay a hefty price. Distance yourself from them otherwise all you will be left with are regrets,” he said.

Lee refused to say what form the offending articles took – news reports or opinion – or to answer long-running concerns over how the national security law applies to media.

“Do your journalistic work as freely as you like in accordance with the law, provided you do not conspire or have any intention to break Hong Kong law, and certainly not the Hong Kong national security law,” he said.

The owner of the paper, pro-democracy campaigner and tycoon Jimmy Lai, has been in jail since late last year on charges relating to the 2019 protests and allegations of national security offences.

Apple Daily livestreamed the police raid on the office, which showed officers leading Law into the building, apparently with his hands tied behind his back. Most employees weren’t at work yet, but those there were moved to the building’s canteen on another floor, away from the search of the newsroom. The paper published a photo of a police officer searching through a reporter’s computer. Apple Daily said 38 journalists’ computers were seized.

The staff union said it was “enraged” by the arrests, and described the court decision to grant a warrant seizing journalistic materials as “regrettable”.

“As difficult as the circumstances may be, we will carry on with our jobs with the aim to publish our papers as normal tomorrow.”

Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong supported the arrests, saying: “Press freedom is not a shield for unlawful acts”.

The national security law was imposed by Beijing, with the Hong Kong government’s blessing, in June last year, and has since led to the arrests of more than 100 individuals, including 54 over the holding of democratic primary polls, an informal pre-election event often held by political parties of all stripes. Politicians and activists were among those arrested, and most were denied bail.

The UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, on Thursday said the raid showed authorities were using the law to target dissent rather than tackle public security. “Freedom of the press is one of the rights China promised to protect in the joint declaration [between the UK and China on Hong Kong governance] and should be respected,” he said.

Lai is among the most high-profile of those arrested under the law. He was charged a third time under the law in April, accused of foreign collusion in relation to activist Andy Li’s attempt to flee to Taiwan by boat last year. His assets were also frozen.

Lai has been a vocal opponent of the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, and Apple Daily has produced extensive critical journalism. Hong Kong’s police commissioner has accused Apple Daily of creating hatred and dividing society, while pro-Beijing media has called for it to be shut down.

Thursday marked the second raid on its newsroom. Earlier this month, Law told Agence France-Presse he was facing “the greatest crisis since I took up the post over three years ago”.

The raids were condemned by journalism and human rights groups. Steven Butler, Asia program coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the arrests destroyed “any remaining fiction that Hong Kong supports freedom of the press”.

“China, which controls Hong Kong, may be able to eliminate the paper, which it sees as an annoying critic, but only at a steep price to be paid by the people of Hong Kong, who had enjoyed decades of free access to information.”

Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, said he was “out of words to describe my anger and sadness”.

“Authoritarianism is waging a brutal war on Apple Daily, a desperately endangered symbol of freedom in Hong Kong.”

#15177196
I wouldn't call a fringe outlet that supports a minority of fringe separatists and vandals 'pro freedom / democracy'.

What's funny is the Epoch times is still operating in Hong Kong. Probably because it's just too tabloid-esque to be taken seriously. Apple Daily got too serious and started treating itself like a real CIA front.
#15177256
China is slowly going in to the direction of Russia: growing income and standards of living have become a burden to the one party autocratic system so hence the repressions. Things are going to get worse when the economy will start to stagnate.

Modern economies are built on human capital, aka well being, education and so on of the people. If China countinues to treat its people as disposable and replaceable then sadly, economic growth is only possible to certain point.
#15177298
JohnRawls wrote:Modern economies are built on human capital, aka well being, education and so on of the people. If China countinues to treat its people as disposable and replaceable then sadly, economic growth is only possible to certain point.


China arguably treats its people better than ever before, which isn't saying much but still. Hong Kong as a British colony was shielded from the horrors of the 20th century.

Igor Antunov wrote:The people are happier than ever before.


Then the CCP should have nothing to fear from free and fair elections..

..on wait, the pro-democracy camp won by a landslide in 2019. :lol:
#15177320
Free and fair election is just code-speak for foreign funded meddling-regardless of the actual reality on the ground. Funny how it is ALWAYS directed at America's perceived enemies, even if they happen to be entirely democratic. It's the mark of the US foreign policy beast and has been for decades. Only propagandists and their puppets are buying this line anymore.

Hong Kong will grow stronger. Britain ruled it with an iron fist, shot up many in multiple uprisings and used a racist 2nd class system for the majority of the populace. Now that sorry chapter is forever gone.
#15177337
Igor Antunov wrote:Free and fair election is just code-speak for foreign funded meddling-regardless of the actual reality on the ground. Funny how it is ALWAYS directed at America's perceived enemies, even if they happen to be entirely democratic. It's the mark of the US foreign policy beast and has been for decades. Only propagandists and their puppets are buying this line anymore.

Hong Kong will grow stronger. Britain ruled it with an iron fist, shot up many in multiple uprisings and used a racist 2nd class system for the majority of the populace. Now that sorry chapter is forever gone.

You have drunk too much of the cool aid.
#15177351
I do not intend to post anymore because of the abundance of the likes of Igor Antunov everywhere.

However, out of respect to noemon starting this thread I finally decide to add a few words.

==========

Epoch Times is not pestered because it's blatantly based in New York and sponsored by the Americans. Apple Daily is raided because it's local based and much more locally funded -- in the sense of local Hongkongers act their part (i.e. buying copies or even buying stock) in keeping it up. Contrary to Igor Antunov's accusation, actually acting on behalf of CIA seems to be a far safer bet.

As quoted in the report, John Lee Ka-Chiu, the Security Secretary of the illegitimate CCP puppet regime, threatens the common people "not to commit crimes with Apple Daily". From what I saw on Facebook and Twitter, I predict his words would only be taken seriously if he actually took action, e.g. arrest Apple Daily readers en masse.

My father bought a copy of Apple Daily as the very first thing he did after getting up today, not even having breakfast. Out of respect (in peaceful times I detest this paper for its highly provocative tone), I followed suit in the afternoon, with slight difficulty because most news stands in the downtown had the paper sold out.

P.S. A presumably pro-Beijing woman raided an Apple Store in Hong Kong, apparently mixing it up with Apple Daily. I think it tells us a lot on the level of Beijing supporters.
#15177369
Patrickov wrote:I do not intend to post anymore because of the abundance of the likes of Igor Antunov everywhere.


Ignore Igor.

Igor Antunov wrote:Free and fair election is just code-speak for foreign funded meddling-regardless of the actual reality on the ground.


Elections cannot be un-free or un-fair? Of course they can, but you're not even refuting my point. The CCP could hold free and fair elections (or any kind of elections really) and at the same time ban foreign funding.

Igor Antunov wrote:Funny how it is ALWAYS directed at America's perceived enemies, even if they happen to be entirely democratic.


You mean "entirely democratic enemies" such as China? :lol:
#15177381
Rugoz wrote:Ignore Igor.



Elections cannot be un-free or un-fair? Of course they can, but you're not even refuting my point. The CCP could hold free and fair elections (or any kind of elections really) and at the same time ban foreign funding.



You mean "entirely democratic enemies" such as China? :lol:


No, relish Igor. Savor every last word of his.

I mean entirely democratic 'enemies' such as the mass protests in Colombia, Bolivia's last president or Chile's mass protests, etc. A surprise pikacoup or complete silence has appeared despite scores killed EVERY time by pro-US groups from the same western media bleating about some girl hurting her eye in hong kong. It's fake, all of it. You parade propaganda terms around that ultimately mean nothing. Tell it like it is or don't tell it at all. Democracy and freedom are not real terms in this context- coming from the one country that topples democratically elected leaders and legalizes slavery of its incarcerated population.

Are we really doing this? Are we crying about some dumb media propagandists pushing foreign influence to destabilize a perfectly functional society? Ok, so let's garnish it with the rosy ridicule it deserves. Crocodile tears are so stinky. Who's crying for Assange? That's right, nobody. Because he's a cheeky little rat. Rats get what they deserve.
#15177386
Igor Antunov wrote:No, relish Igor. Savor every last word of his.


Patrickov is living in Hong Kong while you are a CCP-bootlicker hiding somewhere in Australia. If I were a Hong Konger and would read your garbage on Pofo, I would want to separate your head from your body. Probably better for him if he ignores you.

Igor Antunov wrote:I mean entirely democratic 'enemies' such as the mass protests in Colombia, Bolivia's last president or Chile's mass protests, etc.


Stupid. Mass protests alone don't make a government undemocratic. Morales cheated and had no right to run for another term in the first place. But your whataboutism is irrelevant here anyway.

Igor Antunov wrote:Are we really doing this? Are we crying about some dumb media propagandists pushing foreign influence to destabilize a perfectly functional society?


Perfectly functional according to whom and for how long? You have no right to decide that.
#15177388
Rugoz wrote:Patrickov is living in Hong Kong while you are a CCP-bootlicker hiding somewhere in Australia. If I were a Hong Konger and would read your garbage on Pofo, I would want to separate your head from your body. Probably better for him if he ignores you.



Stupid. Mass protests alone don't make a government undemocratic. Morales cheated and had no right to run for another term in the first place. But your whataboutism is irrelevant here anyway.



Perfectly functional according to whom and for how long? You have no right to decide that.


Admin Edit: Rule 2 Violation

I have every right to opinionate, as do you. By now I would hope you knew how politics actually worked, democracy is a lie. All we can do is opinionate or get filthy rich and participate. The common man is a puppet. The world runs on oligarchy, but some places put more value on meritocracy. I'll settle for those places because they don't tend toward chaos.
#15177405
Igor Antunov wrote:The common man is a puppet.


If the majority were just puppets autocratic regimes would not have to resort to electoral fraud or limiting suffrage (active or passive). Apparently not even control over education and mass media is enough, which is also why the CCP has no intention to grant people in mainland China political rights.
#15177439
Patrickov wrote:I have seen propaganda from both sides, so the real question should be why Chinese propaganda failed on me.

Being impressionable should mean propaganda from whatever side would have the same effect.


Chinese propaganda is very basic and obvious though, it is significantly less sophisticated than western brainwashing so I find it harmless. It's often used to stir up notions of brand loyalty or patriotism towards the Chinese model domestically. That's it.

The most powerful form of Chinese 'propaganda' abroad isn't even propaganda, it's showing off civic works, geoengineering and technological achievements to the rest of the world. At best (from a hostile toward china viewpoint) this will make you jealous, at worst it will make you ditch your hostility and appreciate the achievements of the socioeconomic model there. Oh the horror.

Materially, it can manifest itself in something like the one belt project, where trillions are injected into replicating those successes abroad. OH the horror we got a new highway and some hospitals. And oh no they just forgave our loan which was was more favorable than the IMF was willing to entertain anyway. And all that debt trap nonsense is projection by western lenders because China doesn't actually do that. Oh no what a threat this is to our precious system-on time and under budget with fewer strings attached. You CAN'T DO THIS. :*(

Western propaganda does its magic on supposed tertiary-educated progressives in the cities and across borders. In fact it starts early and never relents. It is deliberately insidious because it is exporting an (inferior imo) system abroad both directly and indirectly through its freshly minted minions who seek to preach their beloved ideology in alien societies-often with disastrous results.

As a hong konger (or mainlander) you are free to travel the world and settle where you please. If you cherish British rule go live in Britain.They're offering incentives. I don't see the tragedy. (I would suggest you move to Australia instead; it's like Britain but less dysfunctional-somewhat more racist but that's a given in isolated anglo-societies). Then knock yourself out with our electioneering system, go volunteer at town halls and set up voting booths every couple years. You will quickly learn you're just wasting your time.

You have more influence on local politics as a policeman or librarian than a voter. And forget about the state/national levels. You have none there unless you can buy your way in with millions or with celebrity.

Now, if you truly want to make a change, focus elsewhere and you may get some traction. For example set up a non profit free hong kong group here in Australia, get some falun gong contacts and maybe even ASIO or the CIA to chip in. Money will start streaming in for all your insidious plans to disrupt and cause chaos abroad-conveniently....never for solving serious problems domestically.

To illustrate the levels of open and mandated corruption in Australia, let me clue you in on a simple transaction at a government run site and this is on the local level where corruption is small time. Take a library for example. One $150 Christmas tree bought for the new season with tax payer funds will transact an amount of $2,000. That tree will then be disposed off. And repurchased next year. Meanwhile staff are forced to work overtime and babysit wasteful pointless community events with no additional pay. Don't let me get started on civic works costs and the magic accounting there, especially on the state level.

Rugoz wrote:If the majority were just puppets autocratic regimes would not have to resort to electoral fraud or limiting suffrage (active or passive). Apparently not even control over education and mass media is enough,


You're being contextually irrelevant right now. Hong Kong cannot practice self determination. This was NEVER on the cards. Education, mass media, security all apply to the question of sovereignty.

Your entire argument is predicated on something that cannot exist-i.e Hong Kong sovereignty. We might as well be applying it to the City of London or New York. Not during British rule and not after turn over was it on the table. There's autonomy then there's sovereignty. You seem to confuse the two.

When it comes to issues of internal stability and national security, hong kong never had a say. It is a sovereign part of the PRC as it was a sovereign part of Britain (where it did not have voting rights and was not able to participate in British elections). At least when it is fully integrated into the nearby province it will get to partake in local elections and send delegates to Beijing-something Britain never allowed.

Colonial ownership switched, and you don't like it. Soon it will cease being a colony altogether-why that terrifies so many in the west is telling. For now it's a matter of brand loyalty. People aren't starving, they aren't dying in droves. The economy is still booming. Population is still growing. You don't like the new brand so be it. Some stinky journalists got arrested, meh. Journalists get a bad rap for a reason these days.

why the CCP has no intention to grant people in mainland China political rights.


They do have rights. They can join the party and work their way up to the top and induct true change. In terms of meaningful metrics such as quality of life and opportunity to travel and work anywhere, no other country has changed more than China in the last 40 years. All thanks to the leadership which is drawn from the party's 90 million members. It's a different system and frankly it is proving its superiority to the one you're backing. So I don't see why I should start headbutting the panic button yet. Adrian Zenz and his posse of circular reporters is not enough to convince me otherwise.

Also this never made it to air, didn't fit the narrative, fun little tidbit from a Taiwanese man that lives in Hong Kong:

#15177455
Igor Antunov wrote:Chinese propaganda is very basic and obvious though, it is significantly less sophisticated than western brainwashing so I find it harmless. It's often used to stir up notions of brand loyalty or patriotism towards the Chinese model domestically. That's it.


What you call Western "propaganda" is simply a more attractive ideology for the vast majority of people, for obvious reasons. What does China has to offer? It's not even communist anymore, it's ideologically bankrupt.

Igor Antunov wrote:Hong Kong cannot practice self determination.


It could, but that's not even something Hong Kongers were asking for. Independence was not a demand of the protests.

Igor Antunov wrote:They do have rights. They can join the party and work their way up to the top and induct true change.


"induct true change", comical. I wonder what Xi has to say about that. :lol:

But you are avoiding the actual argument as usual. China has no intention to grant its people political rights (as everybody understands it), because the "common man" is not a puppet as you suggested.

Igor Antunov wrote:It's a different system and frankly it is proving its superiority to the one you're backing.


It proves no such thing. By every socioeconomic metric countries such as Taiwan, SK or Japan are superior. China is just big. I also fail to see what attractive cultural output it produces compared to the aforementioned countries.
#15177565
Rugoz wrote:What you call Western "propaganda" is simply a more attractive ideology for the vast majority of people, for obvious reasons. What does China has to offer? It's not even communist anymore, it's ideologically bankrupt.


A more attractive ideology for a vast minority of people. Even India is ditching it. China can offer investment and trade on more favorable terms without the pushy ideology and political meddling. Win-win.

It could, but that's not even something Hong Kongers were asking for. Independence was not a demand of the protests.


Let's not be deliberately factitious here. Of course the end goal was a total break from Beijing.

But you are avoiding the actual argument as usual. China has no intention to grant its people political rights (as everybody understands it), because the "common man" is not a puppet as you suggested.


They already have political rights within the one party system. You want another 5-10 parties to emulate the ineffective musical chairs leadership in the west where it takes 30 years to build a train platform? Your preference, not mine.

It proves no such thing. By every socioeconomic metric countries such as Taiwan, SK or Japan are superior. China is just big. I also fail to see what attractive cultural output it produces compared to the aforementioned countries.


No, it's not that black and white. Yes China is big, and in the process of development that is not perfectly uniform. Entire urban regions on the mainland are far superior in terms of quality of life, jobs,housing, transport and cost of living to that of Taiwan, encompassing more than 3-4x the population of Taiwan. At least 100 million live better than those in Taiwan and in 20 years it will be 1 billion. The suicide rates in japan are nothing to write home about, I wouldn't use it as a shining example to emulate. Obviously it's not going to develop uniformly all at once. That takes time precisely because its so big. You're so determined to put a pin into the end of history saga as defined by western neoliberalism-it's not real lol there is no end of history. Another failed system came and went. Liberalism RIP 1800-2020.
#15177586
Igor Antunov wrote:A more attractive ideology for a vast minority of people. Even India is ditching it. China can offer investment and trade on more favorable terms without the pushy ideology and political meddling. Win-win.


Democracy and human rights are very attractive concepts, as polls regularly show. Having a good economy is not an ideology.

Igor Antunov wrote:Let's not be deliberately factitious here. Of course the end goal was a total break from Beijing.


It wasn't. It is now, for obvious reasons.

Igor Antunov wrote:They already have political rights within the one party system. You want another 5-10 parties to emulate the ineffective musical chairs leadership in the west where it takes 30 years to build a train platform? Your preference, not mine.


The CCP is like a corporation without shareholders or competition. It is accountable to no one. Only the threat of unrest/violence keeps it in check. With multiple parties and elections, you have competition and accountability.

But again you're avoiding the argument, is the common man just a puppet or not?

Igor Antunov wrote:Entire urban regions on the mainland are far superior in terms of quality of life, jobs,housing, transport and cost of living to that of Taiwan


:lol:

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