Media tycoon Jimmy Lai was released on bail on Wednesday after he was arrested on Monday in Hong Kong along with six others on suspicion of violating China’s new security law. That reports the news agency AFP.
71-year-old Lai left a police station after 40 hours behind lock and key and was met there by journalists and sympathizers. He raised his thumbs and got into a car without saying a word.
Lai was suspected of conspiring with foreign powers. He is a prominent pro-democratic activist in Hong Kong, critical of the Chinese government and the founder of the newspaper Apple Daily.
To show support for Lai, many Hong Kong residents massively bought an issue of the Apple Daily on Tuesday. The newspaper claims to have printed 550,000 copies for this, instead of the usual 70,000 circulation.
He was already arrested in April on suspicion of organizing and participating in “illegal meetings”. Police searched the newspaper’s editorial office after his arrest.
Security law has already led to hundreds of arrests
Lai’s arrest is the most prominent since the introduction of Hong Kong’s new security law on July 1. The law allows China to take tougher action against opposition and activists and has already resulted in hundreds of arrests.
Several countries have suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong due to the law. The US also ended Hong Kong’s preferential treatment and imposed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam.