In this picture taken on 17 June 2021, Cheung Kim Hung (R), CEO and executive director of Next Digital limited, is escorted by police from the offices of the Apple Daily newspaper to a vehicle in Hong Kong, after Hong Kong police arrested the chief editor and four executives of the pro-democracy newspaper, raiding its newsroom for a second time in the latest blow to the outspoken tabloid/AFP

Hong Kong police charged two executives from the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper on Friday using a powerful new security law, a day after the company’s newsroom was raided over articles it had published.

Police said a 47-year-old and a 59-year-old were charged with “collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security”.

Apple Daily said the two charged executives were chief editor Ryan Law and CEO Cheung Kim-hung.

Some 500 officers descended on the paper’s newsroom on Thursday, bundling computers and notepads into evidence bags.

Authorities said the operation was sparked by articles that allegedly appealed for sanctions against China.

It was the first time articles published in Hong Kong have sparked arrests under the new law that cracks down on dissent in the international business and media hub.

Five Apple Daily executives were arrested in the operation.

Police said the remaining three were still in custody and being questioned. The two charged executives would appear in court on Saturday morning.

Over 100 people have been arrested under the new security law which China imposed on Hong Kong nearly a year ago to stamp out dissent in the wake of huge pro-democracy protests.

More than 60 have been charged and the vast majority have been denied bail.

— AFP

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