Spanish – A new crime was inaugurated in Hong Kong, under the national security law imposed by the Chinese communist regime: “collusion,” making deals with foreign forces. The first group arrests included raids on the media.
At least 200 police officers broke into the headquarters of the Apple Daily news platform, collected 25 boxes of evidence, and took down the workers’ personal information.
Seven men, between ages 39 and 72, were arrested according to local police. This arrest confirms the suspicions of the people of Hong Kong: the end of the autonomy of the island – which has been protesting for months against the imposition of this new law – subjected to the same rigor as the regime from which it remained independent for 200 years.
The search did not comply with the necessary legal procedures or permits of any kind.
“This is the end of press freedom and darkest day of journalists,” predicted Joshua Wong, former Secretary-General of Demosistō, a pro-democracy group that has been disbanded since Communist China took control of Hong Kong weeks ago.
Can you imagine the newsrooms of @nytimes or @guardian encounter something like this? After HK police arrested @JimmyLaiApple, hundreds of police were sent to Apple Daily office without the search warrant. pic.twitter.com/mia12rSYyP
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) August 10, 2020
Hong Kong citizens expressed their protest by lining up at 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 11, to buy 500,000 copies of the raided publication, five times more than usual.
“I want to defend the value of freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Disappointment, fear, and pain are in my heart, but I tell myself every day to persevere.”
“Yesterday, Hong Kong people were very angry. We would have even bought a blank Apple Daily paper today,” Hong Kong resident Ping Ng, 55, told the Guardian.
The owner of the Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai, who went into exile in Hong Kong to escape the poverty of the Chinese communist regime, is the most prominent of the detainees. He was barely 12 years old when he escaped – hiding on a boat. He was so deprived that he worked as a laborer in a factory where he earned barely eight dollars a month.
He is now one of the richest men in Asia, with a fortune of over $1.2 billion Thanks to Lai’s active role through his publications and his own activism, he was deprived of his freedom because he clashed constantly with the regime from which he had escaped: the Chinese Communist Party.
“Being treated like suspects have made our colleagues feeling humiliated and pressurized,” Lai claimed.
“#HongKong police barred most reporters from going near the @appledaily_hk building, including public broadcaster and govt dept RTHK. They said only local, large scale media which “didn’t obstruct police operation before” are invited. #Pressfreedom” were invited. said reporter Frances Sit of RTHK (Hong Kong radio and television).
#HongKong police barred most reporters from going near the @appledaily_hk building, including public broadcaster and govt dept RTHK. They said only local, large scale media which “didn’t obstruct police operation before" are invited. #Pressfreedom pic.twitter.com/SSAB8M51aJ
— Frances Sit (@frances_sit) August 10, 2020
It should be noted that RTHK played a crucial role in exposing the links between the Chinese communist regime and the World Health Organization (WHO) after the latter ignored Taiwan’s success in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
With nearly 24 million inhabitants, Taiwan had only seven COVID-19 deaths, only 480 cases, and 443 patients have already recovered. The island nation, which the Chinese communist regime does not recognize as a sovereign state (and therefore neither the UN nor its subsidiary WHO), warned the international body about the danger of the coronavirus months before it was declared a pandemic.
The WHO, led by Tedros Adhanom, a founding member of a Marxist party, complied with the Chinese Communist regime, which, for weeks, concealed the danger posed by COVID-19 and even silenced, through censorship and detention, the doctors in Wuhan who warned of the danger of the outbreak in its early stages.
Hong Kong, with more than seven million inhabitants and exemplary handling of the coronavirus, is also not recognized by the UN, where China is one of the five countries with veto power in the Security Council.
Jeremy Laurence, the spokesman for the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in an email response to Reuters: “We urge the authorities to review these cases to ensure that the arrests do not impinge on the exercise of rights protected by the international human rights law and Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”
“We repeat our calls for the authorities to monitor and review the operation of the security law and to amend it if necessary to ensure there is no scope for its misuse to restrict human rights guaranteed by international law and the Basic Law of Hong Kong.”
In response to the handling of the pandemic, President Trump accused the UN’s health subsidiary, the WHO, of being China-centric. Given the situation in Hong Kong, it remains to be seen what side the UN is on.