Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) chairman Chris Yeung on Monday described the police raid on Apple Daily as "horrendous" and called on fellow journalists to prepare for the worst, particularly in light of what he called threats against the protection of their sources.
Yeung said many people who have been working in journalism for decades in Hong Kong have never seen anything similar.
The raid came a little more than a month after the national security law took effect in Hong Kong.
"From day one when the law was passed – followed by the promulgation of details about the execution – we were already quite worried about the wide and broad powers given to police in their law enforcement on matters they deem as a threat to national security. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for our worries to become a reality, and in an extremely bad case of police operation and raid to a media office," Yeung told RTHK's Maggie Ho.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters outside the newspaper's office in Tseung Kwan O, Yeung said: “Today it’s the Next Media, tomorrow it could be any other media organisation.”
The HKJA chief said aside from “direct” threats, such police action also “indirectly” imposes pressure on journalists, and the problem of self-censorship will get worse.
He said he hopes Steve Li, a senior superintendent of the police’s national security department, would explain why officers were casually flipping documents on reporters’ desk, which could be sensitive materials.