Hong Kongers snapped up copies of Apple Daily, a day after police raided its newsroom
People in Hong Kong have queued as much as purchase copies of the professional-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, a day after its newsroom was raided by police.
Its entrance web page carried a message of defiance, studying: “We must press on.”
The paper usually prints about 80,000 copies, however had upped that to 500,000. Some information stands bought out.
It got here as two of Apple Daily’s executives have been charged underneath Hong Kong’s controversial new nationwide safety regulation.
Police mentioned two males aged 47 and 59 would seem at West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.
The paper named the pair as its editor-in-chief Ryan Law and chief govt officer Cheung Kim-hung.
Most of these charged underneath the regulation are denied bail and spend months behind bars pre-trial.
Tabloid Apple Daily is understood for its daring criticism of the mainland Chinese management.
Its billionaire proprietor Jimmy Lai, a excessive-profile supporter of Hong Kong’s professional-democracy motion, is already in jail on a string of charges, together with collaborating in an unauthorised meeting in 2019.
He is certainly one of dozens of distinguished activists arrested since Beijing launched the nationwide safety regulation final yr.
Some 500 police officers descended on the Apple Daily newsroom on Thursday, carrying away computer systems and onerous-drives.
Police additionally froze HK$18m ($2.3m; £1.64m) of belongings owned by three firms linked to the paper.
The editor-in-chief and 4 different executives have been arrested at their houses. The three employees not charged on Friday – chief working officer Chow Tat-kuen, deputy chief editor Chan Pui-man, and chief govt editor Cheung Chi-wai – stay underneath investigation.
In a press briefing, police mentioned that since 2019, Apple Daily had printed greater than 30 articles calling on international locations to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and mainland China.
The paper broadcast reside footage of the raid on its Facebook account.
The push to finish Friday’s version befell underneath the watch of fellow media retailers. The newspaper had turn out to be its personal story, its entrance web page emblazoned with the phrases Mr Cheung advised employees as he was led away in handcuffs: “We must press on.”
A proof reader at work on the day of the raid, documented by members of rival media organisations
The entrance web page of Friday’s paper carried footage of the 5 arrested employees members
In Mongkok district, Hong Kongers queued within the early hours for the primary version.
“Usually we sell around 60 copies but tonight, we just sold 1,800,” one information stand proprietor advised AFP.
Apple Daily reported that “some bought 10 or 100 copies at one go to point out their assist, taking the stacks of papers with them utilizing a trolley or a automotive”.
Customer Steven Chow, who purchased three copies, noticed: “There is no perfect media, but it [Apple Daily] is a unique voice in Hong Kong.
“You might not prefer it, however I feel it’s essential allow them to have their voice and survive, it is vital.”
It is unclear how long the paper can keep running after the latest asset freeze.
The UN’s chief human rights spokesperson, Rupert Colville, said on Friday that the newsroom raid “sends an additional chilling message for media freedom”.
“We name on Hong Kong authorities to respect their obligations underneath the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, consistent with the Basic Law, particularly freedom of expression, freedom of peaceable meeting and affiliation and the precise to take part in public affairs,” he mentioned.