Hong Kong Publisher Jimmy Lai Arrested for ‘Colluding With Foreign Powers’

    Lai, a pro-democracy activist, founded clothing retailer Giordano, Next Digital (formerly Next Media), and popular newspaper Apple Daily.

    By The Staff - Aug 10, 2020
    Hong Kong Publisher Jimmy Lai Arrested for ‘Colluding With Foreign Powers’

    Jimmy Lai (left) with Hong Kong politician Martin Lee (Image: VOA)

    Media tycoon Jimmy Lai has reportedly been arrested by Hong Kong authorities under the national security law that has been used as a tool by China to crack down on dissidents since its passage in June. The pro-democracy activist and publisher of opposition newspapers such as the AppleDaily, was arrested for “colluding with foreign powers”.

    This according to a Twitter post from pro-democracy activist Samuel Chu, who was also issued an arrest warrant earlier this month.

    Chu, a naturalized American citizen who has lobbied Washington on behalf of Hong Kong, is being sought along with five others living abroad according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal. “The fact that they can issue this threat makes it clear that it doesn’t matter who you are and where you are,”

    Lai’s arrest was confirmed by Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s media company, who tweeted: “Jimmy Lai is being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time.”

    While Hong Kong has been granted wider-ranging civil liberties than their peers in mainland China under the “one country, two systems” principle which was put in place when Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, leadership in Beijing has become increasingly less tolerant in recent years. As evidenced by the national security law imposed on Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests that began last year.

    The law gives police the power to conduct searches without warrants along with the right to order internet service providers and other information platforms to remove messages deemed that authorities view as a violation of the legislation.

    In an interview last month with Fox Business Network, Lai was asked about his concerns about being arrested under the new security law.

    “I’m not worried because if I worry, I can’t do anything or say anything,” Lai Responded. “Whatever comes, I will have to meet up to it.”

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