Next Digital founder Jimmy Lai is arrested at his home in Hong Kong on April 18, 2020. (AP/Vincent Yu)

Apple Daily parent company shuts down in Hong Kong

The Torch is a weekly newsletter from the Committee to Protect Journalists that brings you the latest press freedom and journalist safety news from around the world. Subscribe here.

The Hong Kong media company Next Digital, which owned the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper before it shut down in June, announced this week that it will also cease operations. Under Hong Kong’s national security law, authorities have escalated attacks on independent media outlets, including Next Digital and its executives. The company’s founder, Jimmy Lai, is currently in prison.

“The room for press freedom is shrinking,” Chris Yeung, chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, wrote in a recent report. “The risk journalists [are] facing amid the [national security law] and the imminent fake news legislation is growing.”

In November, CPJ will honor Lai with the 2021 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award. Learn more about this year’s International Press Freedom Awards here.

Global press freedom updates

  • Pakistani journalists detained by Taliban in Afghanistan
  • Jammu and Kashmir police raid homes of four journalists
  • Demonstrators in Italy attack two journalists during COVID-19 protests
  • Singapore High Court rules that The Online Citizen bloggers defamed prime minister


French journalist Olivier Dubois has been missing in Mali since April 8, 2021. (Photo: CPJ)

This week marks five months since French journalist Olivier Dubois went missing in the Malian region of Gao while seeking to interview a local leader of the Al-Qaeda affiliated group Jamaa Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

The journalist’s abduction was made public in a video published in May, featuring Dubois explaining that he was in JNIM custody. In the video, Dubois urged his family, friends, and French authorities to do everything in their power to ensure his release. 

Last month, CPJ published an advertisement highlighting Dubois’ case as part of The Washington Post’s Press Freedom Partnership, and he was also a featured case in the August edition of the One Free Press Coalition’s list of journalists under attack.

Join CPJ in calling to #FreeOlivierDubois now!

What we are reading

Do you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device? Enable CPJ's flash briefing skill to stay up to date with the latest press freedom news from around the world.