September 23, 2020

Hong Kong Arrests Jimmy Lai Under National Security Law

The police said in a statement on Facebook that officers had entered a building in Tseung Kwan O, the location of Apple Daily’s headquarters, with a search warrant in order to investigate national security offenses. An Apple Daily reporter who was narrating a livestream video said that police officers had loaded bags of documents taken from the building onto a truck.

The live footage showed a tense scene in the newsroom. When an editor demanded to know the exact boundaries of the area being searched, he was shoved by shouting officers. “Remember his face,” an inspector said, raising his index finger. “If he still behaves like this, give him a warning. And if he doesn’t listen to the warning, arrest him.”

Livestream footage also showed plainclothes officers at a restaurant owned by one of Mr. Lai’s sons in Hong Kong’s Central district. The officers loaded a crate filled with electronic devices they had seized into a private vehicle and did not respond when reporters asked if they were national security officers and whether they had search warrants.

By Monday afternoon, the police said they had arrested two more people, for a total of nine, aged 23 to 72, on suspected violations of the security law. Wilson Li, a freelance journalist who works for ITV News, was one of those arrested, the broadcaster said in a statement. However his arrest appeared to be related to activist organizing, not journalism. Another activist, Andy Li, was also arrested, ITV reported.

In the evening, the police arrested Agnes Chow, a prominent activist and politician, on suspected national security law violations of inciting secession, her lawyer said.

“I’m a bit scared,” Ms. Chow wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday that noted strange men had been standing outside her apartment in shifts. “But I believe in what I’m doing.”

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