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Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Media Mogul Arrested Under Security Law,China Says "Traitor"
Lai spoke to AFP in mid-June, two weeks before the new security law was imposed on the city.
Hong Kong's Pro-Democracy Media Mogul Arrested Under Security Law, China Says "Traitor"
New Delhi: Hong Kong's pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been arrested along with other members from his group under China's new National Security Law.
A close aide of Lai, Mark Simon told the media that "They arrested him at his house at about 7 am. Our lawyers are on the way to the police station".
On Monday for fraud and "colluding with foreign forces" the media tycoon and his aides were detained on Monday. Lai has been an active pro-democracy voice and had raised his voice against China's much-criticized new National Security Law in Hong Kong, calling it "a death knell for Hong Kong".
"It will supersede or destroy our rule of law and destroy our international financial status," he said earlier.
A police source speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that Lai was arrested for colluding with the foreign forces one of the new national security offenses and fraud.
For many residents of the restless semi-autonomous city, he is an unlikely hero a pugnacious, self-made tabloid owner, and the only tycoon willing to criticize Beijing.
Whereas in China's state media he is a "traitor", the biggest "black hand" behind last year's huge pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and the head of the new "Gang of Four" conspiring with foreign nations to undermine the motherland.
Lai has spoken to AFP in mid-June, two weeks before the new security law was imposed in the city.
I'm prepared for prison," the 72-year-old said. "If it comes, I will have the opportunity to read books I haven't read. The only thing I can do is to be positive."
He described the law as "a death knell for Hong Kong".
"It will supersede or destroy our rule of law and destroy our international financial status," he said.
Also, he feared authorities would come after his journalists
Both China and Hong Kong have said that it will not affect people's freedoms and only targets a minority.
But also its broadly-worded provisions criminalize certain political speech, such as advocating for sanctions, greater autonomy, or independence for Hong Kong.
Lai is no stranger to arrest.
He is already being prosecuted for taking part in the last year's protests and for defying a police ban to attend a vigil in early June commemorating Beijing's deadly Tiananmen crackdown in 1989.
(Inputs From AFP)