Hong Kong loses last pro-democracy newspaper

Hong Kong’s sole remaining pro-democracy newspaper will publish its last edition Thursday, forced to shut down after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in its assets were frozen as part of China’s increasing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

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June 23, 2021 - 9:01 AM

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, founder and owner of Apple Daily newspaper, leaves the Court of Final Appeal for a lunch breaking after his hearing on Dec. 31, 2020, in Hong Kong. On Saturday, the editor and publisher of the Apple Daily newspaper were arraigned. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images/TNS)

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s sole remaining pro-democracy newspaper will publish its last edition Thursday, forced to shut down after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in its assets were frozen as part of China’s increasing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

The board of directors of Apple Daily parent company Next Media said in a statement today that the print and online editions will cease due to “the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong.”

The silencing of a prominent pro-democracy voice is the latest sign of China’s determination to exert greater control over the city long known for its freedoms after huge antigovernment protests there in 2019 shook the government. Since then, Beijing has imposed a strict national security law — used in the arrests of the newspaper employees — and revamped Hong Kong’s election laws to keep opposition voices out of the legislature.

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