The United States and its allies, including Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom, have criticized the actions of the Hong Kong authorities against the outspoken Apple Daily and its employees.
In a joint statement released on Saturday by the 21-nation Media Freedom Alliance, governments condemned the use of China’s national security law in Hong Kong to shut down the newspaper and arrest its owner Jimmy Lai and his staff. They expressed “strong concern” about the shutdown and warned of the potential for increased media censorship if other legislation is passed.
“The use of the National Security Law to suppress the press is a dangerous and negative measure that undermines Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people,” the department said. US state in a press release.
He called on the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities to support press freedom “in accordance with China’s international legal obligations.”
The pro-democracy Apple Daily published its last issue on June 24 as Hong Kong residents rushed to buy it in protest against the government’s crackdown. The newspaper said he was forced to stop publishing after his bank accounts were frozen and editors arrested for violating Hong Kong’s national security law.
The Apple Daily has built a reputation for its grueling investigations over the past 26 years, exposing the hidden wealth of top Chinese Communist Party leaders and the unethical practices of Hong Kong officials. She is best known for her eye-catching reports and photos on entertainment, crime and celebrity gossip.
Lay, 73, has been jailed on charges relating to his support for pro-democracy protests. His personal assets, including shares of Next Digital Ltd., have been frozen.
The declaration was signed on Saturday by Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. and the United States
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