Hong Kong Publisher Jimmy Lai Is Arrested Under National Security Law
HONG KONG — The Hong Kong police on Monday arrested seven people, including Jimmy Lai, the media tycoon and critic of the Chinese Communist Party, on charges of violating the territory’s new national security law, making him the most high-profile target of the sweeping legislation imposed by Beijing.
Mr. Lai’s company, Next Digital, publishes Apple Daily, a fiercely pro-democracy newspaper that regularly takes on the Hong Kong government and the Chinese leadership. He is often denounced by Chinese officials, pro-Beijing news outlets in Hong Kong and China’s state-run news media.
The newspaper live-streamed video footage of more than 100 police officers turning up in force and raiding Next Digital’s headquarters on Monday morning. Officers were seen rifling through papers on a journalist’s desks as Mr. Lai was led through his office in handcuffs. Officers cordoned off Mr. Lai’s office, and several reporters’ cubicles for searches, photos shared on social media showed.
Apple Daily reported that Mr. Lai, 72, was being investigated on charges of collusion with a foreign country or external elements. Mark Simon, a senior executive with Next Digital, said that Mr. Lai had been arrested along with Mr. Lai’s two sons. They were charged with violations of the company business code. He noted that Mr. Lai’s sons were not affiliated with Apple Daily, which suggests that the authorities were investigating Mr. Lai’s private investments. A number of senior Next Digital employees were also being questioned at their homes, Mr. Simon said.
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