Hong Kong residents lined up outside of convenience stores Tuesday to buy copies of Apple Daily, the city’s most prominent anti-communist newspaper, after a mob of over 200 police officers stormed its headquarters and arrested owner Jimmy Lai on charges of endangering national security.
Lai was among ten others arrested during the raid, facing a minimum of ten years in prison for owning a newspaper that, among other stances, vocally supports the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement and has encouraged sanctions on the Chinese communist regime for violating the “One Country, Two Systems” policy.
Other local outlets corroborated Apple Daily‘s reports of long lines at newspaper racks to purchase their product.
One vendor told reporters that he sold more than 200 copies within 30 minutes,” the Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) noted.
“Lai, who is usually called ‘fat Lai’ or ‘Marijuana Lai,’ has an infamous reputation among ordinary Hong Kong residents, who remember the 71-year-old riot supporter as the most aggressive anti-China figure who instigated violent protests, short bought Hong Kong stocks ahead of the anti-government movement in 2014, colluded with foreign politicians and even made a plea for reckless interference from foreign countries in Hong Kong’s affairs,” the Global Times claimed.
The first batch of Tuesday's @appledaily_hk – with a photo of Lai in police custody and a headline reading "Apple will stride on" – arrived at a newspaper stand in Mong Kok at around 2 am. https://t.co/p3KdNXQ7yM pic.twitter.com/wzLEx1RlTK
— Hong Kong Free Press HKFP (@HongKongFP) August 11, 2020
— Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) August 11, 2020
It's 2am in #Hongkong. There is a long line of people queuing up for the first batch of @appledaily_hk in Mongkok. We are livestreaming, and 6500 people are watching. I guess no one is getting much sleep tonight. pic.twitter.com/xdfnxdcvLg
— Alex Lam 林偉聰 (@lwcalex) August 10, 2020