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Hong Kong newspaper executives denied bail over 'national security' accusations

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By Mark Armstrong  with AP
Hong Kong newspaper executives denied bail over 'national security' accusations
Copyright  Kin Cheung/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

A court in Hong Kong has denied bail to two executives of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.

Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law and parent company CEO Cheung Kim-hung were arrested two days ago under the city's national security law.

They have been charged with collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security in a case widely seen as an attack on press freedom in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

Police said another three executives would remain under investigation.

Chief Magistrate Victor So said there were not sufficient grounds to believe they would not violate the security law again and ordered them to be held until the next hearing on August 13.

The Apple Daily has long been one of the most outspoken defenders of civil liberties in Hong Kong.

It supported massive protests demanding more democracy in 2019 and has criticised the subsequent crackdown, including the enactment of a controversial national security law last year.

Sales are reported to have soared after the raid, with copies increased to around 500,000.