Pro-democracy newspaper's editors arrested in Hong Kong

Pro-democracy newspaper's editors arrested in Hong Kong
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Several editors and executives of a prominent pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong were arrested Thursday under charges of colluding with foreign countries, police announced. 

The Associated Press reported that police arrested five editors and executives of Apple Daily, citing more than 30 articles that authorities alleged played a “crucial part” in efforts to conspire with foreign governments to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong. 

Local police declared the newspaper’s office a crime scene, with CNN reporting that roughly 500 officers were sent to arrest the executives and seize materials. 

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CNN noted that Apple Daily livestreamed the raid from its Facebook page, with officers seen demanding staff show proof of identity and preventing them from returning to desks. 

The newspaper, which has become a frequent target in Hong Kong’s crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, said in a statement that it was left “speechless” over the raid and arrests but that it would not stop its reporting, according to the AP. 

Concerns have ramped up among the Biden administration and other international leaders about actions by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments to curb dissent and calls for democracy in the territory, a former British colony that was handed over to China in 1997. 

Apple Daily has repeatedly spoken out against the government, thus making it a frequent target by Chinese and Hong Kong authorities. 

Last month, Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison for helping organize an unauthorized October 2019 pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong. 

The sentence came a month after Lai was issued a 14-month sentence in a separate case for attending and organizing an August 2019 demonstration. 

Lai was initially jailed and held without bail in December on charges under Hong Kong’s sweeping national security law, which gave Beijing jurisdiction over some cases.