Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy newspaper tycoon Jimmy Lai and Labour Party vice-chair Lee Cheuk-yan


Hong Kong police have arrested Jimmy Lai, the owner of pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, as well as the vice-chair of the Labour Party Lee Cheuk-yan.

Police swooped at the pro-democracy figure’s homes on Friday morning, according to activist Figo Chan and local media. Both were arrested on suspicion of taking part in an illegal assembly during an anti-extradition law demonstration last August 31.

During the Civil Human Rights Front march, which was banned by police, pro-democracy protesters and officers clashed. Tactical officers later stormed Prince Edward MTR station, deploying pepper spray and making arrests.

According to Now TV, Lai – aged 71 – was also arrested for allegedly blackmailing an Oriental Daily journalist in 2017. Lee, 63, is also a former chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which organises the annual Tiananmen Massacre vigils in Hong Kong.

january 1 civil front causeway bay

Lee Cheuk-yan. Photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

Yeung Sum, ex-lawmaker and former chief of the Democratic Party, was also detained for allegedly organising an unlawful assembly, according to democrat Lam Cheuk-ting on Facebook.

Under the Public Order Ordinance, it is an offence for three or more people to act together in a disorderly manner with the intent to cause others to fear that a breach of the peace will be committed. The offence is punishable by three years in prison on summary conviction.

Ahead of the march last August, nine pro-democracy figures were arrested, including Demosisto activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, and lawmakers Au Nok-hin, Jeremy Tam and Cheng Chung-tai.

Police told HKFP they had no information as yet on the arrests.


Additional Reporting: Rachel Wong.



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