Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, center, who founded local newspaper Apple Daily, arrives outside a district court in Hong Kong, on July 13, 2020. Lai was arrested on August 10, 2020, under Hong Kong's new National Security Law. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Hong Kong police arrest Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai under new National Security Law

Washington, D.C., August 9, 2020–Jimmy Lai, founder of Next Digital, which owns the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, was arrested early Monday in Hong Kong under Hong Kong’s new National Security Law for alleged collusion with foreign powers, according to a tweet by Next Digital executive Mark Simon and news reports.

“The arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong’s National Security Law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Jimmy Lai should be released at once and any charges dropped.”

CPJ could not determine precisely what led to Lai’s arrest on Monday. Lai was arrested in February and in April on charges of participating in an illegal assembly, as CPJ documented at the time.