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China sent 500 police officers to the offices of a pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper to arrest 5 execs in a massive show of force

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Hong Kong police officers outside Apple Daily.
Police officers guarded the headquarters of Apple Daily and Next Media after police arrested five Apple Daily executives who were suspected to have breached Hong Kong's new national-security law. Lam Yik/Reuters
  • About 500 police officers arrived at the headquarters of pro-democracy Hong Kong paper Apple Daily.

  • They sorted through documents and arrested five newspaper executives in an early-morning raid.

  • Last year, 200 police officers raided the newspaper and arrested Jimmy Lai, who is now in prison.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

About 500 police officers showed up in force at the headquarters of Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong. They arrested five of the paper's top executives in an early-morning raid.

The 500 officers were seen barging into the paper's office at Tseung Kwan O around dawn with a warrant to seize journalistic materials under the country's national-security law, Reuters reported.

Apple Daily confirmed in a Facebook post that the five people arrested in the raid on Thursday morning were Ryan Law, the paper's editor in chief; Cheung Kim-hung, the CEO; Chow Tat-kuen, the chief financial officer; Chan Pui-man, the deputy chief editor; and Cheung Chi-wai, the digital director.

A five-hour livestream of the raid showed police officers milling about both outside and inside the building, going through documents, and searching the offices.

This is the second time that the paper's headquarters have been stormed by the city's officers. Last August, 200 police officers raided the Apple Daily headquarters and led the media tycoon Jimmy Lai - the paper's founder - out of the building in handcuffs.

Lai was sentenced in April to 14 months in prison for his role in the 2019 pro-democracy protests that swept the city.

The South China Morning Post reported that Steve Li Kwai-wah, the senior superintendent of the city's national-security unit, announced on Thursday that the company's assets were frozen. This constitutes about $2.32 million in funds.

"We are not targeting the media, but only an organization that is allegedly violating Article 29 of the national security law. We value the freedom of the press," Li said during a press briefing attended by the SCMP.

Article 29 says that it's an offense if a person "steals, spies, obtains with payment, or unlawfully provides State secrets or intelligence concerning national security for a foreign country or an external element."

Li also said during the briefing that staff at Apple Daily should "be careful" and not run afoul of the law.

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