Apple Daily journalists denied bail, 5 union members arrested in Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Hong Kong police on Thursday arrested five union members and a court denied bail for four editors and journalists detained on charges of endangering national security, as part of an expanded crackdown on dissent in the city.

The five arrested were members of the Hong Kong General Association of Speech Therapists, according to local media reports.

The association has published three children’s books that authorities suspect are metaphors for the political crisis. The book tells stories that revolve around a sheep village facing wolves from another village. The sheep took actions such as striking or escaping by boat, according to the summary published on the association’s website.

Police confirmed they had arrested two men and three women from a union, but did not identify them or the union.

Police say they are suspected by the public, especially young children, of conspiring to publish, distribute, display or reproduce publications of a provocative nature with the aim of inciting hatred, violence and other non-compliance with the Hong Kong government and judicial authorities. .

Police said that also froze HK$160,000 ($20,600) in union-related assets.

On Thursday, a Hong Kong court denied bail for four top editors and journalists of the now defunct pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Surname arrested on Wednesday on charges of conspiring with foreign powers to endanger national security.

So far, eight former employees have been arrested. Apply every day shut down in June after $2.3 million worth of assets were frozen and police raided newsrooms, confiscating hard drives and laptops.

After months of anti-government protests in 2019, Beijing last year imposed sweeping national security legislation in the semi-autonomous city that critics say limits the freedoms promised to the government. with the former British colony without mainland China.

This law criminalizes separatism, subversion, terrorism, and foreign collusion in city affairs. Since it was implemented, more than 100 pro-democracy advocates have been arrested and many more have fled abroad.

. | Apple Daily journalists denied bail, 5 union members arrested in Hong Kong

Huynh Nguyen

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