Hong Kong police arrest senior Apple Daily journalist at airport

A senior journalist of the now-defunct Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily was arrested at the airport while attempting to leave the city.

Fung Wai-kong was believed to be leaving for the UK when he was arrested on Sunday night, local media reported.

The Hong Kong police said in a statement that a 57-year-old man had been arrested at the airport for “conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security”. They added that he had been detained and investigations were continuing.

Fung is the seventh senior Apple Daily figure to be arrested in two weeks. Earlier this month, authorities froze $2.3m worth of assets linked to the Apple Daily newspaper. Last week, Apple Daily printed its final edition and ceased operations.

The Hong Kong Journalists Association condemned the police for targeting journalists.

“The HKJA reiterates that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are core values ​​of Hong Kong,” it said in a statement. “If even the writing of the literati cannot be tolerated, it will be difficult for Hong Kong to be regarded as an international city.”

Fung’s arrest also comes as pro-democracy online news outlet Stand News said in a statement that it would remove commentaries published on its site before June and halt its fundraising efforts because of concerns over the sweeping national security law.

The measures were taken to protect the news outlet’s supporters, writers and editorial staffers in the “literary inquisition” of Hong Kong, Stand News said in a statement.

Despite the precautionary measures taken, Stand News pledged to keep reporting the news.

“In the past six and a half years, the Stand News team has been through trials and hardships with the people of Hong Kong, cherishing each other and weaving the common memory of Hong Kong’s survival,” it said. “To pass on these memories, we will stick to our posts, walk with the people of Hong Kong … and write and record the news and happenings in Hong Kong.”

The online news platform also said it would stop taking money from subscribers and donors and stop accepting new subscriptions to prevent the risk of money going to waste. Under the national security law, assets can be frozen if authorities believe the money is linked to a related crime.

With Associated Press and Reuters

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