This morning, it was enough to connect on a live YouTube to see die the freedom of the press in hong Kong. A reporter from Apple Daily, the last great media opposition, there followed his boss, the tycoon Jimmy Lai, cuffed, box of police officers doing parade their decision in writing, after having come to the pick jumped out of bed, in his personal residence. The first big coup of the font "national security" put in place in early July.
Before being shipped, this champion of the opposition has smiled in front of the elevator in ironisant : "It is necessary to eat when the food is cooked. "Sub-course, his arrest was inevitable, and the fruit was ripe. The national security act (LSN) imposed on hong Kong by Beijing on 30 June, was tailored for him. As soon as the movement of the Umbrellas of 2014, this man of 73 years had been designated by the State media in china as public enemy no. 1, the qualifying length of articles as a "traitor" or "secessionist" – even though he never supported the independence of hong Kong.
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Collusion with foreign forces
The hong Kong police said they had arrested, and that six of his relatives, including his two sons, and the chief editor of Apple Daily, for "collusion with foreign forces" (article 29 of the LSN) and " fraud ", without more precision. At the beginning of the summer of 2019, Jimmy Lai had met the us secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the vice-chairman Mike Pence to convince them to support the movement in hong kong. This international lobbying, it was only a precursor, has led Washington to adopt a mechanism of sanctions against Beijing, in the case of repeated attacks against the democratic system and the autonomy of hong Kong. And to carry out its threats in recent weeks, following the LSN, so far as to prohibit the banks from any transaction with eleven leaders in hong kong loyal to the central government, including the head of the executive Carrie Lam. In a disaster, the son of this last, Joshua Lam, who studied at Harvard, had to leave the United States at the end of July !
60 years of age, after fleeing communism
If the authorities maintain a semblance of legal procedure, the more likely is that he was arrested simply for about recent against the LSN and the influence of the chinese communist Party, and for the activity of its journal, the last great bastion of freedom of the press in hong Kong. Converted to Twitter in the spring of 2020, Lai said bluntly his love for the United States of America, its sympathy for the island, independent of the de facto Taiwan, and criticized feverishly the PCC – he who has fled clandestinely to the Republic of China, on a boat as a fisherman at age 12.
His arrest is intended to be a symbol : that of the end of freedom of the press. Spectacular images of two hundred police officers in tight ranks, investing all the floors of the group Next Digital – the press group of Lai –, sifting through the offices of journalists and carrying huge boxes blue pieces of evidence ring the knell of the time when the press was still untouchable in hong Kong.
Mark this date on your calendars; the day press freedom died in Hong Kong... https://t.co/neft2s4H0g— Keith Richburg (@keithrichburg) August 10, 2020
Although territory of the people's Republic of China, the "special administrative region" remained until last year a great space in Asia of quasi-complete protection of the rights of journalists. During the search of the Apple Daily, the police has excluded all foreign media, including the sacrosanct agencies Reuters, AP and even the AFP, which shall, however, always to remain the most neutral as possible in their coverage, as well as those who have " a history of obstruction ". And several local media outlets have revealed in the same time that the immigration services in hong kong have opened a division in charge of national security, who will now be able to block the visa applications of foreign journalists.
It is this new division, which would have caused the rejection and delays in the visa applications of several us media, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. On Twitter, Keith Richburg, a former correspondent for the Washington Post, professor of journalism at hong Kong, and pillar of the foreign correspondents 'club, commenting on the first images of the descent to Apple Daily in these words :" Write this date on your calendars ; the day where freedom of the press is dead in hong Kong. "