It was while waiting in line for several hours, Thursday, June 24, to get their hands on the latest issue of theApple Daily, sometimes even before its exit from the press, that the Hong Kongers showed their deep attachment to this cheeky, willingly controversial newspaper, closed by the authorities in the name of the new law on national security. In twenty-six years, with an increasingly assertive activism, the daily had undeniably imposed itself at the heart of Hong Kong society, in particular among the youth and the most popular classes. For its readers, theApple Daily has never been the most serious nor the most reliable newspaper, but it will remain “the only newspaper which really told the truth”.
Worshipers of the title also went to the newspaper’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O, in the New Territories of Hong Kong, on the night of Wednesday to Thursday, to lay flowers in front of the gates and shout their support for the ultimate journalists still there. . The latter responded to them from the roof or the windows of the building by waving goodbye with their phones on, as if they were on board a ship leaving the city, taking with it the freedom of tone and the audacity thatApple Daily embodied. It is the photo of these farewells, titled “Without regrets”, which appears on the “one” of the last issue.
Recognizable by its bitten red apple on a turquoise background, and its colorful pages, clad with photos and graphics, the arrival of the Apple Daily in 1995 had revolutionized the press sector. The title has never missed an opportunity to pin the government, the police, but also in its scandal pages, the stars and other tycoons of the city. He brought down some ministers, but above all accompanied all the major protest movements, especially in 2003, 2014 and 2019, and more and more explicitly affirmed his visceral rejection of the Chinese Communist Party.
Started by businessman Jimmy Lai, currently in prison, the Apple Daily has therefore finally gone out of business, under pressure from the authorities who in particular froze its accounts, less than a year after the adoption of the national security law by Beijing, on June 30, 2020, to annihilate in a way draconian any challenge in the special administrative region. Its inhabitants, however, have always believed that their fundamental freedoms – in particular freedom of expression and freedom of the press – were guaranteed to them, at least until 2047, by Basic Law, the mini-Constitution of Hong Kong, by virtue of the formula “One country, two systems”.
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