Police may have list of journalists to arrest: HKJA - RTHK
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Police may have list of journalists to arrest: HKJA

2021-06-28 HKT 12:52
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  • Ronson Chan says it's worrying that Apple Daily's shutdown has failed to stop arrests of former staff. File photo: RTHK
    Ronson Chan says it's worrying that Apple Daily's shutdown has failed to stop arrests of former staff. File photo: RTHK
Ronson Chan speaks to RTHK's Frances Sit
The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) says it fears more former staff at Apple Daily will be arrested despite the newspaper's demise, after a senior editor was believed to have been detained at the airport on Sunday night.

Police said they had arrested a 57-year-old man on suspicion of the national security offence of "colluding with foreign forces".

Sources said the man taken into custody was Fung Wai-kong who was the paper's chief editorial writer and managing editor of the English-language service.

It is believed Fung was heading to Britain when police picked him up.

The force said more arrests could follow.

In a statement on Monday, the HKJA condemned the police for targeting journalists once again, saying recent events have almost spelt the death of Hong Kong's press freedom.

The association's chairman, Ronson Chan, told RTHK it is worrying that Apple Daily closing down failed to stop further arrests, on top of those of made earlier this month.

"They hoped to protect more staff, to protect their safety, since we supposed that if Apple Daily was still running, more staff would be arrested. But we can still see many well-known journalists or commentary writers being arrested," he said.

"We are afraid that they have a list and still many journalists or commentary writers will be targeted by the police. So I'm afraid that the arrests will continue."

Chan said the authorities should clarify how reporters and editors can avoid breaking the security law which was implemented a year ago this week.

"We are still very confused as to what is the standard of committing a crime under the national security law. We are still worried that writing reports, comments or editorials would be evidence of committing crime," he said.

Fung is the seventh former worker at Apple Daily to be arrested on national security grounds in recent weeks. Two senior executives have been charged with conspiring to collude with foreign forces.

The arrests, freezing of assets and demise of Apple Daily have sparked fears that other media organisations critical of the government could face similar action.

On Sunday night, pro-democracy web media Stand News announced a string of measures, saying "speech crime" has arrived in Hong Kong.

The moves include removing older commentary pieces from the internet, halting the company's fund-raising scheme and signing new contracts with employees.

Chan, who is a Stand News journalist himself, said he was satisfied with the measures his company is taking.

He said he and his colleagues are worried their team will be the next to be targeted by the authorities, but there has been no clear indication of this, as yet.

"So I remain to do the same routine work as what I normally do. I think Stand News is trying to do what they can do to protect and guarantee our benefits, and I am quite satisfied with these measures. But of course, the dangers still exist. I think that for myself, I have considered the situation," Chan said.