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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An worker walks on the places of work of Apple Day by day and Subsequent Media after police raided the newsroom, in Hong Kong, China June 17, 2021. REUTERS/Lam Yik

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HONG KONG (Reuters) -Hong Kong police arrested on Wednesday a columnist for pro-democracy tabloid Apple (NASDAQ:) Day by day on suspicion of conspiring to collude with a international nation or international forces, in one other hit to the besieged newspaper.

The most recent arrest got here after police froze property of firms linked to the newspaper and arrested 5 executives final week, strikes which might be prone to pressure the newspaper to close down this week.

Police have mentioned dozens of Apple Day by day items might have violated the safety regulation, the primary occasion of authorities taking intention at media articles below the laws.

Rights teams, media organisations and Western governments have criticised the federal government’s actions and expressed concern over freedom of the press and different rights within the Chinese language-ruled metropolis.

Police, who sometimes don’t disclose the names of these arrested, mentioned they’d arrested a 55-year-old man on the nationwide safety prices. A senior govt at Subsequent Digital, which publishes Apple Day by day, mentioned a lead author for editorials and a reporter had been arrested, with out figuring out them. It was unclear why the reporter was arrested.

A police consultant mentioned they’d no speedy data on a second arrest.

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam mentioned on Tuesday that criticism of final week’s raid and arrests at Apple Day by day amounted to makes an attempt to “beautify” acts that endangered nationwide safety.

Apple Day by day has come below rising strain since its tycoon proprietor and staunch Beijing critic, Jimmy Lai, was arrested final yr below the contentious laws. Lai, whose property have additionally been frozen below the safety regulation, is already serving a jail sentence for participating in unauthorised assemblies.

In accordance with an inside employees memo seen by Reuters, the tabloid, which employs about 600 journalists, seems set to shut for good by Saturday.

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