Fung Wai-kong’s arrest comes as pro-democracy broadcaster Stand News stops fundraising amid concerns over national security law.
Hong Kong police arrested a former journalist at the airport on Sunday night with the current Apple Daily shut down for an alleged national security offense, local media reported.
Police, who do not normally name detainees, said in a statement that a 57-year-old man had been arrested at the airport for “conspiring to cooperate with foreign countries or foreign forces to endanger national security.”
They added that he had been arrested and that investigations were continuing.
The South China Morning Post and Citizen News identified the detainee as Fung Wai-kong, editor and columnist of the now-closed pro-democracy tabloid.
He was believed to be leaving for the UK when he was arrested, they said.
Fung is the seventh staff member of the pro-democracy Apple Daily who was arrested for national security reasons in recent weeks. The arrests come as Hong Kong authorities crack down on dissent in the semi-autonomous city, arresting most of the city’s pro-democracy figures and renewing Hong Kong’s electoral laws to keep opposition voices out. the legislature.
Earlier this month, authorities froze $ 2.3 million in assets linked to the Apple Daily. forcing that it stops operating. The Apple Daily printed its final edition last week, citing employee safety and the inability to pay salaries.
Hong Kong authorities say dozens of articles in the document may have violated a national security law imposed by China, the first instance of the authorities who pointed to media reports under the law.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association, in reaction to reports of the arrest at the airport, condemned police for attacking journalists again and asked them to explain the incident.
“The HKJA reiterates that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are core values of Hong Kong,” it said in a statement. “If even the writing of the literati cannot be tolerated, it will be difficult for Hong Kong to be regarded as an international city.”
The closure of Apple Daily and the arrest of its journalists have caused a chill in the Hong Kong media industry.
Online news pro-democracy statement Stand News said in a statement on Sunday afternoon that it would remove comments posted on its site before June and halt its fundraising efforts due to concerns about the broad law. of national security.
Measures were taken to protect supporters, writers and press editors in Hong Kong’s “literary inquisition,” Stand News said in a statement.
Despite precautionary measures taken, Stand News pledged to keep reporting the news.
“Over the past six and a half years, the Stand News team has experienced trials and tribulations with the people of Hong Kong, loving each other and weaving the common memory of Hong Kong’s survival,” he said in a statement.
“To convey these memories, we will stay in our publications, walk with the people of Hong Kong … and write and record news and events in Hong Kong.”