Hong Kong: The magnat pro-democracy Jimmy Lai arrested, his papers searched

Hong Kong: Le magnat prodémocratie Jimmy Lai arrêté, ses journaux perquisitionnés

The tycoon hong kong’s Jimmy Lai was arrested Monday, and his press group, searched the name of the controversial bill on security, a new step in the taken in hand muscular of the former british colony by Beijing.

The fabulously wealthy man in his seventies was arrested at his home around 7 pm (local time), specified to the AFP Mark Simon, one of his close collaborators, stating that other members of his group of press had also been arrested.

In a statement, the police reported seven arrests on suspicion of collusion with foreign forces – one of the offences covered by the law on national security that was imposed at the end of June by Beijing – and fraud.

Seen as a response to Beijing in the month of protests, pro-democracy, which had shaken the former british colony in 2019, the act gives authorities new powers to suppress four types of crimes against the security of the State: the subversion, separatism, terrorism, and collusion with outside forces.

Number of activists pro-democracy denounce a text liberticidal that comes away with the principle of ” One country, two systems “, which had led to the retrocession in 1997, and to guarantee theoretically until 2047 for hong Kong’s freedoms unknown in the rest of China.

Hero ” or ” traitor “

Jimmy Lai, the boss of Next Media, which includes the Apple daily and Next magazine, both titles openly pro-democracy and critical of Beijing.

In the late morning, dozens of police officers arrived at the headquarters of the media group, on an industrial zone of the district of Lohas Park.

Journalists from Apple Daily live-streamed on Facebook the images of the search. On the images, the editor-in-chief of the daily Law Wai-kwong appears in the process to ask the police officers their mandate.

“Tell your colleagues not to touch it before that our lawyers check the mandate “, their intimate Mr. Law.

The police have ordered journalists to stand up and line up for identity checks, while others were searching the newsroom. And Mr Lai was brought on the scene.

Mr. Simon has stated on Twitter that searches had also taken place at the home of the magnate and his son.

For a lot of hong Kong people engaged in the wake of pro-democracy, Mr. Lai is a hero, a patron saint of tabloid, who built his fortune alone, and the only boss of the press in hong kong that takes into head the central power in chinese.

Rare are the hong Kong attract so much hatred from Beijing that Mr. Lai, as the State media chinese qualify regularly as a “traitor” by accusing him of being the instigator of the protest of 2019.

The accusations of collusion with a foreign power have increased in the past year, when Mr. Lai has met the us secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the vice-chairman Mike Pence.


Jimmy Lai, the boss of Next Media, which includes the Apple daily and Next magazine, both titles openly pro-democracy and critical of Beijing.

Two weeks before the security act is imposed in Hong Kong, Mr. Lai had confided in a entretienà the AFP that he was “ready” to go to jail.

“If necessary, I will have the opportunity to read books that I have not read,” he had said. “The only thing I can do is remain positive.”

He had swept the accusations of collusion, explaining that hong Kong people had the right to meet politicians, foreign.

Mr. Lai is the archetype of the self-made man. He landed clandestinely to Hong Kong with his family at the age of 12 years, aboard a boat came to Canton.

He began to work as a small hand in a textile factory, then, the thirty approaching, learned English and opened her own textile company.

It is the suppression of the uprising of Tiananmen in 1989, that has transformed her political vision and in 1990, he founded Next Media.

“As long as I’m alive, Next Media will not change “, told AFP a few years ago this father of six children. “I do not want my children, my grandchildren, say that their father and grandfather was rich, but that he was an asshole. I can’t count on my money to be happy “.

In his interview at the end of June to the AFP, he explained that the safety act would “sound the death knell for Hong Kong” and said he was concerned that the authorities are pursuing their reporters.

The chinese authorities and hong kong have claimed that the controversial bill would have no impact on the freedoms in the territory semi-autonomous and was only a minority of people.

The weeks that followed its adoption, however, have confirmed a wince brutal in Hong Kong, with increased repression against the members of the movement for democracy.

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