Singapore: Apple Daily, the last pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong and a powerful voice in the citys political and social landscape for almost three decades, will close on Saturday, becoming the highest-profile media casualty of Hong Kongs national security laws.
The newspaper has been raided twice by hundreds of Hong Kong police in the past 12 months, at least seven editors and executives have been arrested on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces, including billionaire owner Jimmy Lai. The newspapers assets were frozen last week in a move that stopped the companys ability to pay staff and suppliers, triggering mass resignations from employees who now fear for their own safety.
Apple Daily will stop publishing from Saturday. Credit:Bloomberg
The tabloid-style publication mixed entertainment gossip with often controversial investigations and a fierce defence of Hong Kongs civil liberties. Its calls for sanctions to be implemented on Hong Kong to stop the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement would trigger the arrest of its editors, executives and an editorial writer over the past week.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the newspapers parent company Next Digital said due to the current circumstances in Hong Kong, the newspapers final edition would be published on Saturday, June 26 and the website would be shut down from midnight that day.
The company thanks our readers for their loyal support and our journalists, staff and advertisers for their commitment over the past 26 years, the board said in a statement.
Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai, centre, was arrested in April last year.Credit:AP
Jane Poon, a former Next Digital editor, said staff who have just lost their jobs, colleagues and livelihoods still feared for their futures.
They are still under a risk of prosecution, she said. The national security laws will trace after the articles released before the laws came into force.
Journalists, who asked not to be identified because they were concerned about their safety, said they did not know if they would be able to work in an increasingly government-controlled environment.

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