Hong Kong police arrest Next Digital founder Jimmy Lai among 14 activists

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Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai (centre), who founded local newspaper Apple Daily, being arrested by police officers at his home in Hong Kong yesterday. Image: Vincent Yu/CPJ/AP

Pacific Media Watch

The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Hong Kong authorities to drop all charges against Jimmy Lai, founder and chair of Next Digital, following his arrest yesterday alongside 13 other pro-democracy advocates on suspicion of participating in an “illegal” assembly.

Lai’s media properties, including the Apple Daily, have actively and sympathetically covered the 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.

“The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned about the arrest of 14 prominent pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong, including Apple Daily media founder Jimmy Lai,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia programme coordinator, in Washington, DC, in a statement.

READ MORE: Hong Kong activists arrested over last year’s mass arrests

“Hong Kong authorities should end their repeated harassment of Jimmy Lai and drop all charges against him.”

Police also arrested former lawmaker and activist Martin Lee and 12 other pro-democracy advocates on suspicion of participating in the illegal assemblies on August 18 and October 20, 2019, according to news reports.

Hong Kong Police Force’s public relations branch did not immediately respond to CPJ’s email for comment.

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