A Hong Kong newspaper with the backing of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Friday denounced the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper for “working for foreign powers” and “slandering the police force”, proposing official measures that could be taken to close the paper.
“Some media organizations continue to use their so-called fourth real estate status to collude with foreign forces and incite,” backing China. Ta Kung Pao said in the comments section.
“Of these, Apple Daily is the worst and most serious crime, “it said.
The article was published a day after Hong Kong officials suggested that national security law, which prohibits public criticism against the city government and the CCP, will soon have a more impact on the media. .
“There are still some national security loopholes in the media,” said the Ta Kung Pao article, accusing the newspaper of “promoting Hong Kong’s independence under the guise of reporting.”
It said the newspaper had become a platform for “violent protesters” in the 2019 anti-extradition and pro-democracy movement, and accused it of “promoting riot”.
“Scores must be addressed with media organizations like Apple Daily … which is an anti-China and anti-Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) newspaper, “said the article, calling for a ban on the newspaper, along with other pro-democracy media .
“The weird thing is how it can last for so long,” it said.
The article came a day after Hong Kong police chief Chris Tang, in which he referred to some media organizations as “working for foreign powers and slandering the police force.”
“Many foreign powers are using their agents in Hong Kong to spread fake news to cause conflicts and social divisions, and incite hatred,” Tang told the Legislative Council (LegCo).
“We will definitely arrest, investigate and prosecute anyone who tries to endanger Hong Kong’s security through fake news,” Tang said.
An Apple Daily The journalist only nicknamed C said that this is the business as usual in the above newspaper Friday – now.
“Maybe one day what we write down will be a record of the injustices that happened,” C said. “Maybe our stories will serve as evidence to restore someone, or to remedy the actions of an unjust system.”
“I think a lot of people, both journalists and the general public, get this.”
C said that no one expected what Apple DailHowever, he is currently printing to carry out any form of the current citywide crackdown of peaceful dissent and political opposition under national security law.
“We are writing content for historical records, in case it’s useful in the future,” he said.
One newspaper manager said their journalists have been in danger of being subjected to official retaliation for a while and that the end “is sure to come; it’s inevitable.”
“I’m just taking it one step at a time, and I hope I can stay there until the end,” he said.
The Apple Daily could very well become the next target of the crackdown on national security, said Fu King-wah, an associate professor at Hong Kong University’s Center for Press and Communication Studies.
“I don’t know what medium they’ll use, but there’s a possibility that the government has proposed a new law on fake news,” said Fu.
“The current context means that the government has a lot of power to decide what is fake, and will have the power to ban the publication of stories they decide to be fake, as well as take action against the papers. “, he said.
Reported by Man Hoi Yan for RFA Cantonese Service, and by Lu Xi for Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.