Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily on Friday increased its print run to 500,000 copies as residents showed support for the beleaguered freedom of the press a day after police arrested five top editors and executives and froze $2.3 million worth of assets on national security charges. The raid on the paper's offices followed by the arrests on Thursday marked the first time the sweeping national security law, which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year, was used against the city's media. With anti-government protests silenced, most of the city's prominent pro-democracy activists in jail and many others fleeing abroad, people snapped up copies at newsstands and in convenience stores, the AP reports.
"There are lots of injustices in Hong Kong already. I think there are a lot of things we cannot do anymore," said resident Lisa Cheung. "Buying a copy is all that we can do. When the law cannot protect Hong Kong people anymore, we are only left to do what we can." The front page of Friday's edition splashed images of the five editors and executives led away in handcuffs. Police also confiscated 44 hard drives worth of news material. A quote from Cheung Kim-hung, the arrested CEO of Apple Daily’s publisher Next Digital, said "Hang in there, everyone." State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the US strongly condemned the arrests and called for the immediate release of the five arrested. He also called for Hong Kong authorities to stop targeting independent and free media.
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