Freelancer for UKs ITV News Arrested in Hong Kong Under National Security Law

A freelance journalist working for Britains ITV News has been arrested in Hong Kong under the new national security law.

Wilson Li, a former member of pro-democracy student activist group Scholarism, was arrested on Monday for allegedly colluding with foreign forces in violation of the national security law.

“We can confirm that Wilson Li works for ITV News in a freelance capacity. We are concerned to hear of his arrest and are urgently seeking clarification of the circumstances,” said an ITV News spokesperson.

Jimmy Lai Hong Kong
Jimmy Lai Hong Kong
Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily (C), is detained by the national security unit in Hong Kong on Aug. 10, 2020. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

Lis arrest followed that of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, founder of the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper and the Next Digital media group, his two sons, and a number of other activists.

At least 100 police officers raided the headquarters of Apple Daily, sifting through files on desks, lining up staff for identification, and searching through the newsroom.

The British government is “deeply concerned” by the arrests of Lai and other activists, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told ITV.

“This is further evidence that the national security law is being used as a pretext to silence opposition,” the spokesman said.

Boris Johnson Downing Street
Boris Johnson Downing Street
Britains Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London on July 8, 2020. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

The arrests were the “most outrageous assault yet on what is left of Hong Kongs free press,” said Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, in a statement released by NGO Hong Kong Watch.

“The international community cannot let this stand,” said human rights activist and China expert Benedict Rogers, who chairs Hong Kong Watch.

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