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Hong Kong’s Apple Daily facing closure after arrest of executives

Hong Kong’s Apple Daily facing closure after arrest of executives

dpa
Hong Kong
Hong Kong pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily says it is facing the real prospect of having to shut down after its assets were frozen following the arrest of five of its executives on suspicion of violating national security laws.
“Apple Daily could be just days away from having to shut down after the board of directors at its parent company agreed on Monday to make a final decision on the matter on Friday pending an appeal to have the group’s assets unfrozen,” the newspaper said in an article published on Monday.
The newspaper’s board has requested that at least some of its assets be unfrozen so that it can pay its employees, the report said. If the assets are not released and the board decides to cease operations, the newspaper - founded in 1995 - says Saturday will be its last day of publication.
The authorities froze 18 million Hong Kong dollars (2.3 million US dollars) in assets belonging to the newspaper’s parent company Next Digital after five executives were arrested “on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces or external elements to endanger national security.” Two of the five, Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Apple Daily Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, were then charged for allegedly requesting that a foreign country impose sanctions on the governments of Hong Kong and mainland China in various articles. They were denied bail.
Apple Daily owner Jimmy Lai is currently serving a 20-month sentence for his role in unauthorized protests in 2019, and also faces charges of foreign collusion.
All three face life imprisonment if convicted.

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