The tabloid Pingguo Ribao or Apple Daily is preparing a final edition to shoot in five hours, at midnight in Hong Kong, reports the headlines of the South China Morning Post (below). It is also featured in The New York Times and other Western newspapers.
Previously scheduled for Saturday by the company, due to the freezing of its financial assets by the local government, the suspension was brought forward, according to a statement, due to the limited workforce and to protect its team.
Since the arrest Thursday of five of its senior executives, including the editor, half of the editorial staff have resigned. The tabloid, which only has a print edition in Chinese, has already suspended its website with texts translated into English.
An anonymous reporter preparing the latest issue describes the newsroom as “much quieter than usual” and says “it’s just pathetic the way it ends”.
He adds that he has been waiting for the outcome since last August – when a national security law for the city was approved by Beijing, soon followed by a police operation in the newsroom and the arrest of its owner, Jimmy Lai, who is still in prison. jail.
The SCMP, Hong Kong’s first daily newspaper owned by billionaire Jack Ma on the Alibaba platform, points out that the European Union has already reacted, saying the shutdown shows the new law is being used to “stifle press freedom and free expression of opinions “. .
He adds that “the erosion of press freedom also runs counter to Hong Kong’s aspirations as an international business center.”
TALKING CAN BE A CRIME
In the NYT appeal, “Apple Daily, a pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper says it will shut down” amid a “national security investigation.” In the text:
“The shutdown will silence one of the city’s largest and most aggressive media outlets, reinforcing the broad reach of the national security law imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing. Since its passage almost a year ago, the law has thrilled the media in Hong Kong, which was once free-spirited, as it navigates a dangerous environment where speaking out can be a potential crime. “
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