HK tabloid Apple Daily last edition Thursday

Popular Hong Kong paper Apple Daily will be printed for the last time on Thursday (June 23), calling time on a 26-year-run for the pro-democracy tabloid.

The decision comes after a tough year in which the offices were raided by police and its tycoon owner and other staff were arrested under a new national security law.

The paper mixes pro-democracy discourse with racy celebrity gossip and investigations of those in power.

Its closure has escalated alarm over media freedom and other rights in the Chinese-ruled city.

Apple Daily said the decision was "based on employee safety and manpower considerations".

The paper's publisher, Next Digital, said in a statement the decision to close the newspaper, which employs about 600 journalists, was taken "due to the current circumstances prevailing in Hong Kong".

Police last week froze assets of companies linked to the newspaper and arrested five executives.

Authorities have said dozens of Apple Daily pieces may have violated the security law, which Beijing imposed on the city last year.

Rights groups, media organisations and Western governments have criticized last week's police raid on the newspaper.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting