GOP senators raise concerns over closure of Hong Kong newspaper

GOP senators raise concerns over closure of Hong Kong newspaper
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Several Republican senators on Wednesday voiced concerns about the closure of the only remaining pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong following the arrest of five of its editors and executives.

“The forced closure of pro-democracy newspaper @AppleDaily_HK illustrates the lengths the Chinese Communist Party will go to silence dissent, curtail freedom, and maintain their grip over the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong,” Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) tweeted.

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“The #CCP has succeeded in shutting down free speech in #HongKong--@AppleDaily, a pro-democracy paper, is forced to shut down after the Beijing-controlled HK government arrested its owner & multiple journalists, and froze its assets. #China's government is ending #freespeech,” Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) tweeted.

According to the Associated Press, the board of directors of Next Media, Apple Daily’s parent company, said in a statement on Wednesday that the newspaper would no longer continue because of “the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong” and also cited concerns of employees’ safety.

The notice came a week after five Apple Daily editors and executives were arrested on charges that the newspaper allegedly colluding with foreign countries. According to the Associated Press, police cited 30 stories published by the newspaper as evidence that the newspaper was conspiring against Hong Kong and China and encouraging countries to place sanctions on the two. 

Other politicians, including UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, also vocalized their disapproval.

“The forced closure of @AppleDaily_HK by Hong Kong authorities is a chilling demonstration of their campaign to silence all opposition voices,” Raab tweeted.


“Freedom of the press is like the air for democracy. I feel quite sad today. The people of Hong Kong are losing Apple Daily but they will not lose their courage. Their dignity and ideals are still there. Taiwan stands with you,” Taiwan vice president Lai Ching-te tweeted.