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Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy media tycoon: aide

Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy media tycoon: aide

Hong Kong Police have arrested pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai under China's new national security law, according to his top aide. 

“Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time,” Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company Next Digital, tweeted early Monday local time. 

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Next Digital publishes the local tabloid Apple Daily, which also reported on Lai’s arrest. 

Police arrested him on suspicion of violating the Hong Kong national security law for “collaboration with foreign forces,” the tabloid reported. 

Simon said the police are searching Lai's home as well as his son's home. 

"Other members of the group have been detained or taken in for questioning," he added. 

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Lai’s media group backed the pro-democracy protests throughout Hong Kong last year. But Lai has not played a central role in Hong Kong’s democracy movement for years, Bloomberg noted

Lai had been arrested in February on suspicion of participating in an unlawful assembly in 2019 and intimidating a reporter two years before that and was granted no police bail, Bloomberg reported. 

Hong Kong announced earlier this month that it would postpone its elections, originally scheduled for Sept. 6, because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pro-democracy groups, however, said the decision is part of an attempt to thwart opposition to candidates challenging those supported by Beijing. 

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