The Apple Daily service will be away from the press on Saturday. Last week, five employees were arrested for violating a controversial security law. Hong Kong’s first resident is on trial on Wednesday for violating the law. Tong Ying Kit, who defends the innocent, faces life imprisonment.
Jamie Lai founded the pro-democracy Apple Daily and became a symbol of the movement fighting the new security law during last year’s protests.
The editor-in-chief was arrested in a police raid last week. Press materials were taken and bank accounts withheld. Without this money, the newspaper had to close, which was announced today. “The Board of Directors regrets to announce that due to the current conditions in Hong Kong, the Apple Daily will print its final version on Saturday, June 26, and will be available in digital form until 11:59 am on Saturday. This company would like to thank its readers for their support, journalists, employees and advertisers for their dedication over the past 26 years.”
Only today, the first man is also on trial for violating the National Security Act. The 24-year-old was arrested on 1 July 2020 on charges of separatism and terrorism. He is accused of driving a motorcycle that rammed police officers while carrying a protest flag.
Tong was not allowed on bail all this time, and now he risks a life sentence. Innocent pleads to himself.
There is no jury at the trial, which is seen as a very important part of Hong Kong’s justice system. Three judges were appointed to replace the case.
Section 46 of the Security Law, drafted by Beijing, lists three cases in which a jury can be impeached: protection of state secrets, cases involving foreign forces, and protection of jurors.
The law prohibits subversive activities, terrorism, independence-seeking, and foreign interference. Since Beijing passed the law a year ago, pro-democracy leaders have been jailed and their freedoms restricted. It also ended the wave of protests that began in the spring of 2019. He was targeting the authorities and for more democracy.