Closure looms for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Apple Daily after raids

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The pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily looked set to close for good by Saturday following police raids and the arrest of executives – a move that critics say undermines the city’s status as a free and open society as Beijing tightens its grip.

Mark Simon, an adviser to the jailed owner and staunch Beijing critic Jimmy Lai, told Reuters on Monday the newspaper would be forced to shut “in a matter of days” after authorities froze access to the firm’s core operating capital on national security grounds that were needed for staff wages and other expenses.

In an internal memo to some staff seen by Reuters, the Apple Daily said the board of its parent company, Next Media, would decide by week’s end whether to keep going.

“If the board decides not to continue to operate on Friday, online will stop uploading at 23:59 p.m. on the day, newspaper will cease operation after publishing the June 26 edition.”

Apple Daily and Next Digital management could not be reached for comment. Apple’s financial news team said in an article it had already ceased publishing online as of Tuesday morning.

via Reuters

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