Hong Kong police have arrested the editor in chief and four directors at the Apple Daily newspaper in the latest blow to the its jailed owner, Jimmy Lai, under the Beijing-imposed national security crackdown.
The police national security department said five directors of a company had been arrested on suspicion of collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security. The newspaper’s offices were also being searched.
Apple Daily said about 100 officers arrived at the newspaper’s headquarters at about 7.30am on Thursday and cordoned off the area.
The newspaper said morning raids saw the arrest of five of its directors, including the 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.
The police said only that the five included four men and a woman aged between 47 and 63. It did not provide other details.
The move is the latest blow to Apple Daily after authorities in May froze Lai’s shares in Next Digital, publisher of the newspaper.
Lai was arrested in August 2020 and later charged under the national security law imposed by Beijing. The pro-democracy activist’s assets were frozen under the same law.
He has been in jail since December after being denied bail in a separate national security trial. He faces three charges under the new law, including collusion with a foreign country.