(HONG KONG) JUST IN: Free Press Report: Police raid ‘Apple Daily News’ office and seize journalistic materials saying they are being arrested under national security #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.17: It was the second time in 10 months that the newspaper, founded by Jimmy Lai, had been raided. Police said the warrant used on Thursday was issued under the security legislation, and gave them power to search for and seize journalistic material:

#AceDailyNews says for a second time ……HONG KONG: Police raid Apple Daily office, editor-in-chief among 5 arrested under national security law over articles: Hundreds of Hong Kong police officers raided the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily on Thursday and arrested five senior executives on suspicion of violating the national security law by publishing articles which called for sanctions on Beijing or the city.

HFP by Kelly Ho14:00, 17 June 2021 Secretary for Security John Lee meets the press on June 17, 2021 after police arrested senior executives of local pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

Dozens of Hong Kong police enter Apple Daily’s headquarters in Tseung Kwan O on June 17, 2021. Apple Daily

by Kelly Ho14:00, 17 June 2021

Lai, 73, who was arrested during the first raid last August, is serving 20 months in prison for protest-related offences and also faces charges under the Beijing-imposed security law, which provides for penalties of up to life imprisonment.

Police said four men and one woman – aged 47 to 63 – were apprehended for allegedly colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security. At least two of them were handcuffed.Apple Daily’s editor-in-chief Ryan Law is led away. Photo: Apple Daily.

According to local media, those arrested included Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung and Chief Operating Officer Royston Chow, Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law, Associate Publisher Chan Pui-man and Cheung Chi-wai, who manages the newspaper’s online news platform. All were arrested in the early hours at their homes.

National Security Unit Senior Superintendent Steve Li said the operation was launched at 6 a.m. and involved around 500 officers. He said HK$18 million worth of assets belonging to three companies linked to Apple Daily had been frozen.

Li said the alleged offence involved around 30 Chinese and English Apple Daily articles published since 2019. He said the articles were “strong evidence” and the “focus” of an alleged conspiracy of asking foreign powers to impose sanctions on China or Hong Kong.

Asked whether the articles in question were news articles or opinion pieces, Li did not give a direct response: “The natures of the articles is very simple, just inciting, requesting the foreign country to impose sanctions to Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China. Very straightforward.”Photo: Apple Daily.

Asked whether citizens would risk violating the security law by sharing such articles, Li said police would have to look at the intention. “But as a law enforcer, I have some advice for people – do not draw suspicion to yourself, if it is not something you wish to spread.”A police private vehicle carries Apple Daily’s Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law to the Apple Daily office on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau.

Editors handcuffed

Police said the five arrested senior executives are being detained for investigation. The tabloid’s chief editor Law was seen being escorted by police to the newspaper’s office at around 9.30 am.

Next Digital chief executive Cheung Kim-hung arrived in the Tseung Kwan O office in handcuffs at around 10 am. Police forced their way into Chan Pui-man’s flat, according to StandNews. Photo: StandNews.

Police broke into his flat in the early hours, according to StandNews.A police private vehicle carries Next Digital CEO Cheung Kim-hung to the office on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau.

Lawyer Barry Hoy was seen outside the Apple Daily office in Tseung Kwan O. He entered the building shortly after Cheung was brought inside. Lawyer Barry Hoy arrives at the Apple Daily office at around 9.50 am on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP. 

Police said their operation was not targeting the press, adding the force “had no choice” but to enforce the law inside a media company.

Office raided again

Photo: Apple Daily.

“The operation, still ongoing, aims at gathering evidence for a case of suspected contravention of the National Security Law,” a police statement read. 

According to Apple Daily, some police officers accessed reporters’ computers and searched for information. Journalists were told to leave the editorial department and wait elsewhere. They could not move around freely inside the building.Apple Daily said some officers accessed reporters’ computers during the raid. Photo: Apple Daily.

Some officers stopped reporters from filming the search, the newspaper said.Photo: Apple Daily.

Reporters were told by editorial management to carry on with their work assignments today, a senior reporter told HKFP.

Trading halted

Next Digital suspended trading before the market opened, according to a stock exchange notice.

Lai was arrested last August for alleged collusion with foreign forces and conspiracy to defraud. Over 200 police entered the newspaper’s headquarters on that occasion and seized at least 30 boxes of evidence. Police register information of those who enter the Apple Daily office building on June 17, 2021. Photo: Candice Chau. 

The media mogul later faced an additional charge in April for allegedly conspiring to collude with foreign powers. He was said to have connived with his top aide Mark Simon, activist Andy Li, legal assistant Chan Tsz-wah and self-exiled activist Finn Lau. He also stands accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by allegedly helping activist Li flee Hong Kong.Jimmy Lai. File photo: StudioIncendo.

Lai is set to stand trial in the city’s High Court, where the maximum penalty is life in prison. He is currently serving 20 months behind bars for three unauthorised 2019 protests.

In June 2020, Beijing inserted national security legislation directly into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution – bypassing the local legislature – following a year of pro-democracy protests and unrest. It criminalised subversion, secession, colliusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure. The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China. However, the authorities say it has restored stability and peace to the city.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.17: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apple, #free-press, #hong-kong, #jounalism, #youtube

(PAKISTAN) Breaking The Silence Report: A new report on the murder of journalist Zubair Mujahid finds significant errors in the official police investigation. Leading press freedom organisations now call for an independent re-investigation of the case to bring the killers to justice #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.16: Working as a correspondent for the Daily Jang – Pakistan’s largest Urdu language newspaper – in the southern city of Mirpurkhas, Zubair Mujahid’s reporting exposed local corruption and human rights abuses. Zubair Mujahid was murdered in November 2007 during the turbulent downfall of the regime of Pervez Musharraf:

REPORT: “Breaking the Silence: An Investigation into the Murder of Zubair Mujahid” was published as part of A Safer World For The Truth,an initiative by Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

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Strikingly, some of his most impactful stories exposed wrongdoings by the local police in Mirpurkhas, which led to the dismissal of various police officers. As a consequence, Zubair Mujahid received threats from individuals within the police department. This very same department was tasked with investigating the murder.

The report reveals serious errors in the official police investigation. Specifically, it finds that police investigators did not analyse the bullet with which Zubair was shot and did not search for eye witnesses around the crime scene.  

Cycle of impunity

The report calls for an effective and impartial investigation team to re-investigate the murder. This must be done under the auspices of the High Court of Sindh.

“Zubair Mujahid was murdered for exposing the truth. The murder must now be adequately investigated and justice must be achieved,” said Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of RSF.

“Killing a journalist is the world’s safest crime: in nine out of ten cases the killer goes free,” said Leon Willems, Director at FPU. “To break the cycle of impunity, Pakistan’s authorities must step up their efforts to ensure justice for Zubair Mujahid.”

“Pakistan has seen almost total impunity for the murder of journalists over the past decade,” said Joel Simon, Executive Director of CPJ. “Re-investigating the  case of Zubair Mujahid is an important step towards breaking the cycle of impunity.”

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. According to research by the CPJ, at least 61 journalists have been killed since 1992.  On the most recent World Press Freedom Index published by RSF, the country ranks 145 out of 180.

The report “Breaking the Silence: An Investigation into the Murder of Zubair Mujahid” was published as part of A Safer World For The Truth, an initiative by FPU, RSF and CPJ), to pursue justice for murdered journalists worldwide. The report is the second in a series of investigations into unsolved murders of journalists worldwide.

The full investigation and its recommendations can be found at https://www.saferworldforthetr…

The first investigation of the Safer World For The Truth program, about the murder of Mexican journalist Regina Martínez Perez, was published in March 2021.

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: June.16: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#corruption, #free-press, #journalist, #murder, #pakistan, #truth

(PARIS, France.) JUST IN: The Eiffel Tower was the scene of the latest unrest in the capital directed at the law, which makes it illegal for the public and journalists to share images of police officers #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.21: The rally, which went on amid a heightened police presence at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower, was organized by Reporters without Borders, Amnesty International as well as other human rights groups and journalist unions. Opponents of the Global Security Bill insist that it’s a major infringement on the freedom of the press: Activists carried banners decrying the law, chanted slogans, while also singing La Marseillaise, the French national anthem. Some in the crowd sported yellow vests, a symbol of the larger protest movement against economic injustice across France:

The rally was staged despite a national lockdown and a ban on public gatherings, in an attempt to stem a second wave of the coronavirus. Many demonstrators neglected social distancing rules and the government’s order to wear face masks:

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The rally went on peacefully for hours, but tensions began rising after dark when some demonstrators started setting trash bins on fire: The protesters threw bottles and other objects at riot police, an RT France correspondent reported from the scene:

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The police initially refrained from action, but then deployed a water cannon and to disperse the crowd.

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Smaller protests against the law were also held in Marseille, Lille, Montpellier and other French cities on the day.

The Global Security Bill, which is pushed forward by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, among other things criminalizes the distribution of images of law enforcers by both the public and the media. A violation could carry a one-year prison sentence or a €45,000 fine.

The legislation got the greenlit from the National Assembly on Friday and is expected to be approved by the Senate next week. 

In response to the criticism, Prime Minister, Jean Castex, assured that the bill “won’t impede the freedom of information,” but will only focus on images shared with “clear” intent to harm a police officer. 

Emmanuel Macron has proposed controversial legislation that would ban the publication of pictures of police officers on duty

French move to outlaw images of police at work is a clumsy attempt to hide the everyday brutality that passes as law enforcement

Videos of police using excessive force against demonstrators and criminal suspects have recently caused a vast public outcry in France: The most vivid incident was the death of Paris man, Cédric Chouviat, in January, which strongly resembled what happened to George Floyd in the US: Chouviat, a 42-year-old father of five, was filmed shouting “I’m suffocating” as he was held down by seven officers. The probe into the case saw three officers charged with manslaughter:

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Nov.21:

#ans2020, #france, #free-press, #paris

USA: ‘ TEXAS COURT MAKES EXAMPLE OF JOURNALIST SENTENCING HIM TO PRISON OVER LINKS TO ANONYMOUS ‘

#AceNewsServices – USA:Jan.24: A  Texas court in Dallas sentenced journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months behind bars for links to the hacktivist collective Anonymous.

Barrett Brown (Photo from Wikipedia.org)

Barrett Brown (Photo from Wikipedia.org)

In April the independent journalist entered a plea deal agreeing to charges of transmitting threats, acting as an accessory to hacking, and obstructing with the execution of a search warrant. In addition to the prison term, the 33-year-old has been ordered to pay nearly $900,000.

Brown had been facing a possible sentence of 8.5 years. His legal team and online supporters, however, argued that the more than two years the hacktivist had already spent in prison were enough.

The controversial case drew attention as a possible crackdown on free press when federal prosecutors charged Brown with fraud for merely sharing a link to a compilation of stolen credit card information from intelligence contractor Stratfor.

The charge was later dropped as part of plea deal he made in April.

The trove of data contained within the link related to subscriber data pilfered from Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a private intelligence company, when it was hacked by Anonymous in December 2011. Thousands of emails obtained in that compromise were later given to the whistleblower website WikIleaks and were subsequently published online.

However, in his sentencing statement Thursday morning Brown alleged that the Statfor hack served as the primary motivation in the government’s case against him.

“The fact that the government has still asked you to punish me for that link is proof, if any more were needed, that those of us who advocate against secrecy are to be pursued without regard for the rule of law, or even common decency,” Brown told the judge.

#BarrettBrown imprisoned for 28 months – his “crime”? – exposing the truth.#FreeBB#FreePress#FreeAnonspic.twitter.com/rdkunnwLoo

“You cannot traffic something that is already in the public domain,” Brown’s attorneys argued regarding the stolen data. But the court disagreed.

According to federal sentencing guidelines, Brown should have expected 51 to 63 months in prison. US District Judge Sam Lindsay gave him the maximum term advised.

The $890,000 restitution money will go to Stratfor, Combined Systems and the Law Firm of Puckett and Faraj. All three companies were targeted by Anonymous.

Hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty in May 2013 to violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as a member of the Internet collective known as Anonymous for his role in the Stratfor breach. Brown’s mother, Karen Lancaster McCutchin, was sentenced in November 2013 to six months’ probation and a $1,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to helping her son keep laptops from federal agents.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, condemned the prosecution of Brown.

“The Barrett Brown case is such an obvious injustice that a public campaign by his lawyers to place the Beckel statement back into its proper context would be an obvious step for his defence team,” Assange wrote on his site after the December sentencing hearing, noting that the situation personally involves him and WikiLeaks.

#ANS2015

#dallas, #free-press, #jornalist