“Hong Kongers bid a painful goodbye in the rain” Was The Last Headline For Apple Daily – Thousands of people across Hong Kong are hunting for the latest edition of the pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, which has closed after 26 years.
In one night hundreds of people braved the torrential rain and gathered outside the offices of the newspaper which printed one million copies of the last issue. The decision to close the newspaper came after its report was accused of violating the National Security Act, which led to the freezing of the company’s assets. The shutdown is seen as a blow to press freedom under pressure from Beijing.
In the early hours of Thursday (24/06), newspaper stands across the city were packed with shoppers who lined up long. The line was filled with people hoping to pick up the latest issue of Apple Daily soon. By 10 a.m. local time, agents had run out of the victim, according to posts on social media. The final issue was published as a tribute to readers with the headline: “Hong Kongers bid a painful goodbye in the rain”.
“Hong Kongers bid a painful goodbye in the rain” Was The Last Headline For Apple Daily
“In my opinion, this is the end of an era,” Zeng San, one of the people waiting in line, told us . “I don’t understand why Hong Kong can’t even tolerate a newspaper. “I want to support him to the end,” Yang Ama said, “This newspaper has accompanied society for many years. After this, we will face a storm. ” In response, Apple Daily employees greeted residents in the office.
Some people stood on balconies and windows, waving flashlights, and shouting “Thank you Hong Kong” to the crowd outside. Someone saw some employees distributing the final prints for free to their supporters on the streets. The news from inside the newsroom on the closing day of the newspaper presented an emotional scene full of applause, tears and confusion.
Highly concerned about freedom of speech in Hong Kong “Apple Daily” is Hong Kong’s largest democratic newspaper and is regarded as the thorn in Beijing’s quelling of dissent.
The newspaper’s office was raided by police last week, on allegations that some of its reports violated national security laws. Through this law, actions that are considered to undermine the government are categorized as criminal acts.
Officials say Apple Daily has published about 30 articles calling on other countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, and mainland China since 2019. As a result, the company’s assets were frozen and a number of senior employees were arrested. Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai has been detained and faces charges under security laws.
On Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper announced it would discontinue printing presses. Publication through online media was also stopped at night. And in the last issue of Thursday, Apple Daily printed one million copies. This number is 10 times more than usual.
The head of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Ronson Chan, said there were “great concerns for Hong Kong regarding freedom of expression”. “We would be very concerned if there would be consequences for writing an article. I’m concerned that this would make our society feel, or as I feel now, that people could be imprisoned for what they wrote.”
Hong Kong authorities reject accusations that they are stifling press freedom. They say they are not forcing newspapers to close. Chinese officials from Beijing have repeatedly said media freedom in Hong Kong is highly respected, but not absolute.