Residents in Hong Kong hold the line to uphold press freedom in a city that has been subject to the Chinese Communist Party crackdown on democracy as arrests of prominent pro-democracy activists and renowned journalists continue to take place under the new National Security Law.
Hundreds of thousands of people flocked the streets of Hong Kong last year to cry foul over China’s grip on its democracy and sovereignty. In recent months, prominent activists suffered arrests and pro-democracy candidates faced disqualifications for not submitting to Beijing’s National Security Law, a law that suppresses dissent and free speech to the people of Hong Kong as protesters put it. The latest target of this attack is the Media Tycoon Jimmy Lai, founder of the news outlet Apple Daily and his sons and others from the company. They were detained and suspected of collusion with a foreign power. Reports say that at least 200 police came to Next Digital, Apple Daily publisher, headquarters, and took boxes they called evidence against Lai. A pro-democracy activist in the person of Agnes Chow was arrested on Monday night as police tried to instill fear to its residents.
In solidarity with what these journalists and activists went through and condemn these acts, residents turned into buying Apple Daily’s newspapers across the city. The same publication that fueled them to come out and protest last year. This move is a way to help the newspaper company and the freedom of the press survive. Each copy costs 10 Hong Kong dollars or $1.25, acquiring one piece is equivalent to a protest, less the posters, and no planned demonstrations that may put harm in their lives while some resorted to buying Next Digital stock as a way of supporting the press.
"Most outrageous assault of #HongKong’s free press": international community condemns the arrest of @JimmyLaiApple— Apple Daily HK 蘋果日報 (@appledaily_hk) August 11, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/oXMjKfBgGw#AppleDailyENG #AppleDaily pic.twitter.com/BrQGL8giG6
ABC News reported that Apple Daily said that it will print an additional 200,000 copies, other than the 350,000 copies it usually produced, with a headline “Apple Daily will fight on”.
China remained firm to mold and turn Hong Kong as one of its mainland cities, by imposing laws that erode the city’s democracy. One of the residents shared with the Associated Press that the move to attack Apple Media is just the beginning of more media outlets to face the same situation if they refuse to support the Communist Party. She added that only those news that praises the Communist Party will remain.