Hong Kong's Jimmy Lai arrested under the new security law

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 10, 2020, 10:58 PM(IST)

Tycoon and Apple Daily Newspaper owner Jimmy Lai Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

His tabloid, Apple Daily was accused of 'instigating hatred, spreading rumours and smearing Hong Kong authorities and mainland for years'.

The vaguely worded and widely applied Hong Kong security law was designed to end Hong Kong's liberties and autonomy. Hong Kong's dark phase has begun as the city saw the first high profile arrest under the security law.

Business tycoon Jimmy Lai was handcuffed, escorted out of his office, put into a police van and taken away. Lai has been accused of violating the new security law and colluding with a foreign country.

China's Global Times had a lot to say. It described Lai as a riot supporter.

His tabloid, Apple Daily was accused of "instigating hatred, spreading rumours and smearing Hong Kong authorities and mainland for years".

The security law was implemented on June 10.  It was not supposed to be applied retroactively. 

Lai's arrest spells abuse of the security law. Beijing has repeatedly called him a traitor. He is one of the most prominent pro-democracy voices from Hong Kong. China refers to him as the black hand behind last year's pro-democracy protests. The 71-year-old owns the retail company- Giordano, the tabloid Apple Daily and the Next magazine. Lai is worth more than $1 billion and holds a UK citizenship.

He has never been shy of taking on the Chinese leadership. He once said: "China being the number 2 strongest country in the world and has a dictator like Xi Jinping on top of it.. Domestically a lot of people think that Xi Jinping is becoming Mao Zedong."

Lai's media platforms are critical of Beijing. Apple Daily was the most-read newspaper in 2019. It has been a target of Xi's men. Jimmy Lai once received rotten animal entrails on mail.

In 2015, he spoke to AFP about freeing press from China's clutches. He said: "People is taking control of the media in the mobile world, so we don't have to worry about whether the media will be controlled by china or the media will be controlled by the tycoon who fight for China who is leaning on China; no the world is changing. Technology has given the control of the media to each individual."

Earlier today, the Apple Daily newsroom was raided by 200 policemen. At least 9 people were arrested. The assault on the free press was broadcast live on Facebook.

Is this the future of Hong Kong media? Will reporting lead to arrests?

The Apple Daily episode comes days after Washington slapped sanctions on high profile Hong Kong officials.

Carry lam and her masters in Beijing are undeterred. The world must make China pay for its massacre of Hong Kong.

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