Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, has closed after a series of police raids and the arrests of its owner, editor, and senior executives. BBC News reported the closure on Wednesday, describing it as “a blow to media freedom in the city.” The newspaper’s owner, the pro-democracy billionaire Jimmy Lai, is already in jail, facing a string of charges. Last week, some 500 officers raided the tabloid’s offices while its editor-in-chief and other executives were arrested in their homes, accused of breaching a new national security law that has triggered a sharp crackdown in the former British territory—now a “special administrative region” of China.
With the paper’s assets frozen, its remaining board members met Wednesday to discuss their options—only for the police to raid them again and arrest a columnist accused of collusion with foreigners. Mark Simon, an adviser to Lai, told the BBC that it was already clear the paper was closing but “they still had to show up and to make an arrest.” The paper will cease operations at midnight, so Thursday’s edition will be the final one.