Hong Kong police arrested former senior journalist with Apple According to local media reports, the daily newspaper at the international airport Sunday night on suspicion of national security charges when he tried to leave the city.
Phung Wai-kong will become the seventh employee of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily to be arrested on national security grounds in recent weeks. According to local media reports, he was an editor and columnist for a closed newspaper.
The Hong Kong police said in a statement that the 57-year-old man was arrested at the airport for “conspiring with foreign states or foreign forces to threaten national security.”
They added that he was detained and the investigation is ongoing.
Apple Daily, a popular tabloid, was forced to abandon its case after several hundred police raided its headquarters on June 17 and froze its assets and bank accounts. He published the latest issue last Thursday.
Authorities say dozens of newspaper articles may violate China’s national security law, the first time authorities have targeted media reports under that legislation. Critics of the law, passed last June, say it was used to suppress dissent and undermine fundamental freedoms in a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Some critics also say the shutdown of the Apple Daily, which combines pro-democracy views with celebrity gossip and investigations by those in power, heralds the end of an era of media freedom in the city.
The Hong Kong Journalists’ Association, responding to reports of the arrest at the airport, condemned the police for the repeated attack on journalists and asked them to explain the incident.