Hong Kong police arrest 5 people for suspected violation of national security law
Updated 17:58, 17-Jun-2021

The National Security Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) police on Thursday arrested five directors of a company for suspected contravention of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (national security law), police said in a statement. 

The five people – four men and a woman aged 47-63 – were arrested for allegedly colluding with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, contravening the National Security Law, according to the police.

Local media said the editor-in-chief of Apple Daily and CEO of Next Digital were among those arrested.

The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR later voiced firm support for the police's law enforcement action.

According to the national security law, all institutions, organizations, and individuals in the HKSAR shall abide by the national security law and other laws of the region on safeguarding national security, and shall not engage in any act or activity which endangers national security, a spokesperson of the office said in a statement.

The office firmly supports the police in fulfilling their duties according to the law and taking resolute actions against any act endangering national security, the spokesperson said. 

Ryan Law (R2), Apple Daily's editor-in-chief, is arrested by police officers in Hong Kong, south China, June 17, 2021. /CFP

Ryan Law (R2), Apple Daily's editor-in-chief, is arrested by police officers in Hong Kong, south China, June 17, 2021. /CFP

The Liaison Office of China's central government in the HKSAR also said in a statement on Thursday that it firmly supports the "just move of strict law enforcement" by the HKSAR government and police. 

The office added that it firmly supports all efforts to safeguard national security and maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability. 

"The Basic Law guarantees the freedoms of speech, the press and publication for Hong Kong residents, but no right or freedom is without boundaries," the statement said, stressing that the bottom line of national security must not be crossed. 

"Everyone is equal before the law, including media organizations," it said. "Press freedom is not a shield for illegal behavior." 

The owner of Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, was arrested last August for suspected collusion with foreign or external forces and violation of the national security law. Lai has also been charged with fraud and sentenced to a total of 20-month imprisonment for illegal assemblies.

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