Pro-Democracy Paper in Hong Kong Forced to Close Under CCP’s Widening Repression Campaign

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The Epoch Times

Apple Daily, an independent pro-democracy tabloid in Hong Kong known for its critical stance on China’s Communist Party, has weathered police raids and the jailing of its founder. But its 26th birthday might be its last.

Hong Kong’s government, backed by Beijing, has taken aim at the newspaper. Last week, 500 police barged into the newsroom, seizing computers and files and arresting five of the publication’s executives. Two directors now face charges of colluding with foreign forces, an ambiguous offense under the draconian national security law imposed by Beijing last year.

Adding insult to injury, authorities froze the paper’s assets as part of the investigation. With HK$18 million ($2.32 million) worth of assets on hold in local banks, it’s now unable to pay its more than 800 staff members, and could be just days away from shutting its doors, the paper says.

The outlet’s looming closure “marks the end of an era,” Mary, a senior employee at Apple Daily using a pseudonym, told The Epoch Times. “The disappointing part is, we are shut down not because readers don’t like us or that we lack good management. We have plenty of supporters and could have continued.

“It’s saddening. It makes you wonder why Hong Kong has become like this.”

The company marked the 26th year of its founding on June 20. The next day, a news anchor bid farewell as 36,000 people watched the last episode of its evening live broadcast. The company has ceased updating its online English site and the finance section of its Chinese-language site.

Apple Daily announced it will print its last edition on June 24. Friday will be the paper’s last working day if the government denies an appeal to unfreeze some of its funds. The paper has given its staff the option to resign immediately without the customary one-month notice. Many have left, but some want to stay on, according to local reports.


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