Highlight of my ‘staycation’ was watching online – along with everyone – Apple Daily being raided again, and top management arrested (and later of course denied bail).
For extra added creepiness, Security Secretary John Lee threatened others to keep away from the Apple Daily staff, or they’ll regret it. Does this apply to the suspects’ legal counsel? Do Lee’s comments (‘cut ties with these criminals’) potentially prejudice a future trial? Would/should a court accept that his and other officials’ sanctioning by the US casts doubt on their impartiality in the case? His warnings about not spreading articles – which he won’t identify – are similarly sinister. Is it illegal to buy or read Apple Daily, or to pass a copy to someone else? The whole premise of the alleged crime of ‘collusion with foreign forces’ seems to suggest it might be illegal for reporters to talk to foreigners, or for media to merely address overseas governments in op-ed columns.
Looks like Apple Daily will cease operations pretty soon – at least as a print publication, and in Hong Kong. Either the paper will run out of funds, or the NatSec Regime will find a pretext to shut it down by force. I bet they time it so there’s no chance to print 500,000 farewell copies. Will the regime block the company’s website? The CCP celebrates its 100th anniversary by silencing anyone who doesn’t bow to it.
And the key question: will a Hong Kong court now seriously declare that writing/publishing an article urging an overseas government to impose sanctions on local/Mainland officials threatens national security?
On a related note: Antony Dapiran’s latest procrastination, on the recent extensions of censorship (Claudia Mo denied bail for speaking to overseas press, documentary film censorship, etc), and the reality of ‘self-censorship’ – that it is in fact active censorship.