After the Hong Kong police arrested several people working for Apple Daily for endangering national security, Secretary for Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government John Lee said the operation only targeted using newsrooms as a tool to endanger national security and reassured that normal news coverage will not be affected.
Lee made the remarks at a press briefing on Thursday after the police detained five people for conspiracy to commit collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security.
The people under arrest were suspected of publishing dozens of articles on Apple Daily that requested foreign countries to impose sanctions or engage in hostile activities against HKSAR and China, Lee said.
Evidence showed that the newspaper continued to engage in such illegal activities after the national security law took effect, Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the police's national security department, said at another press briefing.
Lee noted that the HKSAR government will act hard on any attempts to use news coverage as a shield to endanger national security.
The Security Bureau has frozen the offense-related property worth about 18 million Hong Kong dollars (2.32 million U.S. dollars) of three companies involved.
Freezing offense-related property is a globally recognized practice to prevent criminals from using their property to continue committing crimes, Lee said.