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Newspaper founder Jimmy Lai arrested under Hong Kong’s national security law

Photograph: Lai with Nancy Pelosi last year, where the two discussed Hong Kong.

Jimmy Lai, the founder of a media company and pro-democracy supporter in Hong Kong, was arrested under Hong Kong’s repressive new national security law. 

Lai owns a media company that was raided as part of his arrest, a move that signals the Chinese governments’ continuing clampdown on dissent in Hong Kong. China adopted this law six weeks ago, and already many people have been arrested for advocating for independence and autonomy. Additionally, the elections that were scheduled have been postponed a full year, and twelve pro-democracy candidates have been barred from elections.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong released a condemnation of the arrest, saying “The arrests, and the raid on the newsroom, are a direct assault on Hong Kong’s press freedom and signal a dark new phase in the erosion of the city’s global reputation.”

Mr. Lai’s newspaper, Apply Daily, reported that he was accused of colluding with a foreign country or external elements. He had previously been arrested in February and April due to accusations of participating in unauthorized protests and vigils.

US vice president, Mike Pence, called the arrest of Lai “deeply offensive and an affront to freedom-loving people around the world”. US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, meanwhile tweeted that it was “further proof that the CCP has eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms and eroded the rights of its people”.

See more from The Guardian here.

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