Executive Editor-in-Chief, Lam Man-chung, was among the four arrested on July 21. Associate Publisher and Deputry Chief Editor, Chan Pui-man and editorial writers, Fung Wai-kong and Yeung Ching-kee, were also arrested after their bail was revoked.
Pui-man was among the executives and editors who had previously been arrested on June 17. Wai-kong and Ching-kee were arrested a few days later. Man-chung was the only of the four individuals who was charged. In a statement, police said he was charged under suspicion of “conspiring to collude with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security”
Hong Kong’s security minister, Chris Tang, rejected criticisms that these arrests would instigate fear amongst journalists of further political reprisals. Tang said, “Whoever committed an offense will be arrested, disregarding their background, whatever they do, or what are their professions … It doesn’t really matter. If they committed an offense, they will be arrested. And if there is any evidence, they will be prosecuted.”
On June 24, Apple Daily shut down its Hong Kong operations after standing as the last major pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong. Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, is also currently in prison after being charged under the National Security Law.
The IFJ said: “The extensive persecution of Hong Kong journalists, as a result of the National Security Law, has established a precedent for media workers are treated by the authorites. The IFJ urges Hong Kong authorities to drop all charges against Lam Man-chung and to release the rest of the Apple Daily workers.”