A.Us Protest against the arrest of media mogul Jimmy Lai and other activists bought the “Apple Daily” newspaper en masse from Hong Kong on Tuesday. The pro-democracy paper, which belongs to the von Lai group, was sold out in some stores in the morning. Long queues formed in front of other shops.
In its current edition, the newspaper reported in detail on the wave of arrests and the search of their rooms, in which more than 200 police officers were involved the day before. “Apple Daily Must Fight On” read in large letters on the title page.
The Lais Group also experienced a tailwind on the stock exchange. The price of Next Digital, the parent company of “Apple Daily”, rose after a strong jump on Monday at times by more than 300 percent on Tuesday.
The day before, the critical publisher Lai and other well-known activists were arrested in a large police operation. It was the biggest blow to the Hong Kong democracy movement since China introduced a controversial security law in late June.
In addition to Lai’s confidants and employees, the well-known activist Agnes Chow and her comrades-in-arms Wilson Li and Andy Li were arrested at the lecture, which also caused severe criticism abroad.
The most extensive intervention so far
China is heavily criticized for its Hong Kong policy. The law targets activities that China considers subversive, separatist, or terrorist. It is the most extensive encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy to date, and it gives China’s state security far-reaching powers. Hong Kong’s democratic opposition believes the law will target them.
Since the return of the former British crown colony to China in 1997, Hong Kong has been governed autonomously with its own civil liberties. From the point of view of critics, the State Security Act marks the end of the “one country, two systems” principle that has been pursued since then. It is also seen as a violation of China’s international legal obligations in returning Hong Kong.