Hong Kong leader defends actions against Apple Daily

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday defended her government’s actions against the pro-democracy tabloid, Apple Daily.

Hundreds of police raided the paper last week as part of a national security probe into allegations of “collusion with a foreign country.”

The company’s assets have since been frozen and an internal memo seen by Reuters said the paper would decide by week's end whether to shut down.

Lam told reporters the raid wasn’t an attack on the press.

"What we are dealing with is neither a news outlet problem, nor a news reporting problem, it's a suspicious act of endangering national security. So, our action is not attacking press freedom.”

Police have said dozens of Apple Daily articles may have violated the city's national security law, a law imposed by China.

It marks the first time the law has been leveraged against a media company.

Rights groups and Western governments criticized the move and expressed concern for press freedom in the Chinese-ruled city.

An adviser to the jailed Apple Daily owner and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai told Reuters earlier this week the publication will shut its doors in a “matter of days,” likely by the end of the week.

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