The police of Hong Kong arrested iThe lead columnist for the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Day, a few days after the foray of law enforcement agencies in the drafting and freezing of assets. The 55-year-old, who writes under the pseudonym of Li Ping, is suspected of “colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security”.
Li Ping is one of the leading columnists of Apple Day, he has written nearly 800 in the last five years, the most recent on academic freedoms in China, the tabloid has ended up in the crosshairs of Beijing and at risk of imminent closure. Its owner, Jimmy Lai, is in jail after being one of the first to be indicted under the new national security law, imposed by the Chinese authorities last summer, amid protests from pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and the international community.
In last week’s raid, officers arrested five executives, including the director Ryan Law and CEO Cheung Kim-hung, indicting them for collusion with foreign forces. The authorities also froze assets worth 1.8 million Hong Kong dollars (equivalent to 2.3 million dollars), paralyzing the tabloid’s work. If they are not at least partially unblocked, the latest issue has been announced for Friday; the drafting of the financial news and the English edition, together with the weekly magazine, have made it known that they have already stopped.