Hong Kong police arrested 10 people on Monday under the new national security law for suspected collusion with foreign forces.
Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying and senior officials of Apple Daily newspaper were detained over suspected collusion with foreign forces. Two hundred police officials raided the offices of Apple Daily. The police also arrested Agnes Chow Ting, a former member of political group Demosisto. Ryan Law, the chief editor of Apple Daily, told Reuters that the paper would not be intimidated.
The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region came into force in June. The law aims at preventing secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities. It also punishes collusion with a foreign country to endanger the national security of Hong Kong.
Jimmy Lai told AFP news service “[the law] will supersede or destroy [Hong Kong’s] rule of law and destroy [its] international financial status.” Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, said: “[t]he arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong’s National Security Law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom.”
Lai is labeled a traitor due to frequent visits to Washington to garner support for democracy in Hong Kong. A spokesman for China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office told Xinhua news agency that Lai used the media he controlled to spread rumors and support violence. He alleged that Lai provided funding for anti-China elements and groups advocating Hong Kong independence.