Pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrested under National Security Law

WION Web Team
Hong Kong Published: Aug 10, 2020, 07:28 AM(IST)

Jimmy Lai Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Lai, a beloved voice in Hong Kong, is seen as a traitor and  the biggest 'black hand' in the Chinese media

Hong Kong's pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested along with other members from his group under China's new National Security Law.

"They arrested him at his house at about 7am. Our lawyers are on the way to the police station," Mark Simon, a close aide of Lai told the media.

The media tycoon and his aides were detained on Monday for fraud and 'colluding with foreign forces'. Lai has been an active pro-democracy voice and had raised his voice against China's much criticised new National Security Law in Hong Kong, calling it  "a death knell for Hong Kong".

"It will supersede or destroy our rule of law and destroy our international financial status," he said earlier.

The new security law imposed by China in Hong Kong has been criticised internationally, and especially in Hong Kong. Since the implementation of the law, several pro-democracy activists have been arrested, as it was feared earlier.

Lai, a beloved voice in Hong Kong, is seen as a traitor and  the biggest "black hand" in the Chinese media. However, Lai had earlier declared that he will be willing to go to the prison if that is what it took to raise his voice against the imposition of the new law.

"I'm prepared for prison," he had earlier said. "If it comes, I will have the opportunity to read books I haven't read. The only thing I can do is to be positive."

He had earlier predicted that the authorities would come after him and his journalists after the law was implemented. However, this is not his first arrest. He is already being prosecuted for taking part in last year's protests and for defying a police ban to attend a vigil in early June commemorating Beijing's deadly Tiananmen crackdown in 1989.

Lai's team of lawyers had rushed to the authorities soon after his arrest.

Hours after the arrest was made dozens of Hong Kong police officers started an extensive search of Jimmy Lai's organisation, Apple Daily. Live images broadcast on Facebook by Apple Daily's own reporters showed officers searching their newsroom in an industrial park on the outskirts of the international financial hub. 

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