On Thursday morning, hundreds of Hong Kongers lined up for several hours to buy the last issue of Apple Daily, the day after the pro-democracy newspaper was closed after a senior reporter was arrested and the government frozen assets.

A tabloid founded by a media tycoon Li Zhiying For a long time, the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities have angered the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities for their reports on city officials and their sharp criticisms of the Chinese Communist Party.

its Close has been viewed Following the pro-democracy protests in 2019, China implemented strict national security laws last year, a sign of the deterioration of civil liberties in the city and the suppression of political opposition.

The law strengthened Beijing’s control over the territory, which promised a high degree of autonomy for 50 years after it was handed over from Britain to Chinese rule in 1997.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that the closure of the Apple Daily proved that the National Security Act was “used as a tool to restrict freedom and punish dissent—not to maintain public order”.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam responded to Western criticism of the newspaper’s forced closure, accusing the United States of “beautifying” crimes that endanger the country.

The Hong Kong authorities accused the newspaper and its executives of calling for sanctions on Hong Kong and its officials after the 2019 protests, thereby endangering national security. Chinese state media labelled Apple Daily as separatist.

Apple Daily printed 1 million copies Thursday final edition, Far exceeding its usual circulation of about 150,000 copies.

In some newsstands, the line is hundreds of deep. In Mong Kok, one of the busiest shopping districts in Kowloon, supporters lined up in front of the newsstand at 1 am and took a copy directly from the printing press. By Thursday morning, many suppliers had sold out.

“I feel too sad to shed any tears,” said a 55-year-old man who said he had read the Apple Daily because it was launched 26 years ago. “I read all the content in the newspaper, including columns, sports events, and everything… I can’t think of any other newspapers I would buy instead.”

In the office of Next Digital, the parent company of Apple Daily, workers gathered on the roof and used their mobile phones to illuminate the supporters gathered below.Many employees resigned before the closure, especially after the police Raided the company’s office Last week, five executives were arrested under the National Security Law, including the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Ryan Law-this is the first time national security rules have been used against journalists.

Apple Daily’s news articles and other content went offline at midnight on Thursday, which may indicate that the company faces further legal issues. Internet users are scrambling to archive these materials on Hong Kong Internet forums.

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