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June 23, 2021, 2:55 p.m.
LINK: www.bbc.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Sarah Scire   |   June 23, 2021

Press freedom in Hong Kong has been, as one observer put it, “alive but hanging from a thread” since a set of sweeping national security laws passed in 2020. It appears that final thread has snapped.

On Wednesday, the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily announced it was shutting down after the government seized its assets and arrested a number of its journalists and executives. The newest government crackdown follows multiple raids and the arrest of founder Jimmy Lai, who faces life in prison, in the months since the new laws passed.

Apple Daily’s site now redirects to a shutdown notice and its content — often critical of the Chinese Communist Party — has been wiped clean. The newspaper’s pages on Twitter and Facebook and other social platforms have been removed and its apps have gone down, as well.

Austin Ramzy, a journalist for The New York Times based in Hong Kong, noted another outlet, Radio Television Hong Kong, had also taken down reporting after government pressure.

Apple Daily said it would print 1 million copies of the day’s paper — 10 times its typical run. After 26 years of publishing investigative journalism on top officials, political analysis with a pro-democracy slant, and its fair share of celebrity gossip, it’s likely to be the final edition of Apple Daily.

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