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Wednesday Jun 23 2021

Hong Kong's Apple Daily newspaper to end by Saturday

A supporter purchases copies of the Apple Daily newspaper from a newspaper stall after it looked set to close for good by Saturday following police raids and the arrest of executives in Hong Kong, China June 22, 2021. Photo: Reuters

HONG KONG: Jailed Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's Next Digital said on Wednesday that due to the prevailing circumstances in the city its Apple Daily newspaper will come to an end no later than Saturday.

The statement came after 500 Hong Kong police took part in a raid that saw officers sift through reporters' computers and notebooks at Next Digital's pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, the first case in which authorities have cited media articles as potentially violating the national security law.

Authorities froze the company's assets under a national security law, an adviser to jailed owner Jimmy Lai told Reuters on Monday.

The closure of Apple Daily would undermine the former British colony's reputation as an open and free society and send a warning to other companies that could be accused of colluding with a foreign country, media advocacy groups said.

Hong Kong officials have repeatedly said that media freedoms are respected but are not absolute.