Hong Kong police have arrested the island's media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who is known for his support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement and criticism of mainland China.
He was arrested Monday on suspicion of "colluding" with foreign forces.
"We have to focus on the two offenses, allegations (behind arrest of Jimmy Lai). The first one is the offense under the national security law, namely the colluding with the foreign power. And the other one is a conspiracy to defraud, involving some cheating behavior of having a lower rent for the factories (inaudible). That's all about the individual behaviors. Nothing about the company themselves."
Such an offense was created by the new controversial national security law that was imposed on Hong Kong by China last month.
The new law criminalizes any act of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces, which could carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Over a hundred officers reportedly raided the Apple Daily newspaper, arresting Lai along with his sons and other senior executives at the firm.
Local media outlets also reported that a handful of others, including pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, was also arrested on Monday.
Chow was a co-leader of Demosisto, a political party that stemmed from the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.
The party, however, was disbanded just hours after the passing of the new national security act.
Following the news, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was "deeply troubled" by the arrests.
The European Union also denounced the arrests, accusing Beijing of utilizing the new act to crack down on media freedom in Hong Kong.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.