Raab Condemns Forced Closure of Hong Kong Newspaper

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the forced closure of a Hong Kong newspaper describing the move as “a chilling blow to freedom of expression.”

The Times reported that the publisher has come under frequent attack by the authorities since the imposition of a sweeping national security law in the territory last June.

Jimmy Lai, its founder, has been arrested and is serving 20 months for illegal assemblies and faces the charge of colluding with foreign forces under the security law for urging Washington to sanction Hong Kong and mainland officials.

Police raided the newsroom last week and arrested five executives, two of whom were charged with colluding with foreign forces for publishing editorials and commentaries calling for foreign sanctions.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The forced closure of Apple Daily by the Hong Kong authorities is a chilling blow to freedom of expression in Hong Kong.

“It is crystal clear that the powers under the National Security Law are being used as a tool to curtail freedoms and punish dissent – rather than keep public order.

“The Chinese government undertook to protect press freedom and freedom of speech in Hong Kong under the UK-Sino Joint Declaration. It must keep its promises, and stand by the commitments it freely assumed.”