Jimmy Lai arrest: Hong Kong residents rush to buy media mogul′s newspaper | News | DW | 11.08.2020
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Jimmy Lai arrest: Hong Kong residents rush to buy media mogul's newspaper

Hong Kongers have been buying up copies the pro-democracy Apple Daily paper to support the free press in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The arrest of its owner in a crackdown also sparked a share buying spree.

Hong Kong residents on Tuesday lined up to buy the Apple Daily in a show of support for its owner, Jimmy Lai, who was arrested the day before under a new national security law imposed by Beijing.

The newspaper, which is often critical of the Beijing leadership, said it had printed 500,000 copies, five times as many as normal. The Tuesday edition showed a picture of Lai being led away in handcuffs with a headline saying "Apple will fight on."

Following Lai's detention on Monday, some 200 police raided his offices and carried away boxes they claimed contained evidence.

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Fears of suppression

Lai's arrest has stoked fears that the new security law is a pretext for suppressing dissent and free speech in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which has long enjoyed freedoms unknown on the mainland under a "one state, two systems" principle.

The law was imposed by Beijing in June after protests against communist China's tightening grip swept the city last year.

Lai is suspected of collusion with a foreign power, one of his aides said. Such collusion is criminalized by the new law.

In a further gesture of support after the arrest of the media tycoon, investors went on a buying spree of shares in his media group, with its stock value rising nearly 1,000% on Tuesday against Monday morning.

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tj/dr (Reuters, AFP, AP)