The leaders of the two forums have expressed grave concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai, the founder and publisher of Apple Daily, in Hong Kong on Monday
The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) condemned the arrest of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai whose Apple Daily newspaper has been sharply critical of the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing.
The leaders of the two forums have expressed grave concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai, the founder and publisher of Apple Daily, in Hong Kong on Monday.
Lai, his two sons, and six executives of Apple Daily's parent company, Next Digital, were arrested under new National Security Laws and some 200 policemen raided the Apple Daily offices. The laws, which were adopted by China for the city at the end of June, criminalize secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces - the charge levied against Lai.
Apple Daily, a tabloid, is Hong Kong's widest-read publication, both in print and online.
WAN-IFRA President, Fernando De Yarza Lopez-Madrazo said the arrests and raid confirmed fears that the new law would be used to silence pro-democracy voices and the press.
“It is a dark day for journalism and press freedom in Hong Kong. We strongly condemn the actions of Hong Kong’s National Security Department police as an assault on its citizens’ freedoms. It will unnerve not just the millions of inhabitants who were out on the streets for months on end, in a bid to uphold democracy, but journalists and human rights’ advocates worldwide. It risks increasing self-censorship in the city and stifling critical journalism.”