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Hong Kong residents buy newspaper to support free press

Long lines of people bought up copies of the Apple Daily paper at Hong Kong newsstands Tuesday to support a free press in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The public support came one day after police arrested the publisher of the pro-democracy paper and raided its premises in the most significant enforcement yet of Hong Kong's new national security law.

“The government is suppressing freedom of the press,” said Michael Hung, who bought two copies for 10 Hong Kong dollars ($1.25) apiece.

People queue up at a news stand to buy copies of Apple Daily at a downtown street in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, as a show of support, a day after the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong authorities arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai on Monday, broadening their enforcement of a new national security law and stoking fears of a crackdown on the semi-autonomous region's free press.(AP PhotoVincent Yu)

The newsstand operator said he had sold 200 of his allotment of about 300 papers by late morning. On at typical day, he sells about 100 copies.

At least 200 police descended on the headquarters of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily, and carted away boxes of what they said was evidence a few hours later.

Earlier, owner Jimmy Lai, his two sons and others from the company were detained under the national security law. An aide to Lai said they were suspected of collusion with a foreign power, which the law criminalizes. Police did not release details.

People buy a copy of Apple Daily at a news stand at a downtown street in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, a day after the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong authorities arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai on Monday, broadening their enforcement of a new national security law and stoking fears of a crackdown on the semi-autonomous region's free press.(AP PhotoVincent Yu)

The arrests, along with that of democracy activist Agnes Chow on Monday night, have stoked fears that authorities are using the new law to suppress dissent and free speech.

People queue up at a news stand to buy copies of Apple Daily at a downtown street in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, as a show of support, a day after the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong authorities arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai on Monday, broadening their enforcement of a new national security law and stoking fears of a crackdown on the semi-autonomous region's free press.(AP PhotoVincent Yu)

Copies of Apple Daily newspaper with front pages featuring Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, are displayed for sale at a newsstand in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Hong Kong police arrested Lai and raided the publisher's headquarters Monday, broadening their enforcement of a new security law and raising fears about press freedom in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. (AP PhotoVincent Yu)

People queue up at a news stand to buy copies of Apple Daily at a downtown street in Hong Kong Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020, as a show of support, a day after the arrest of its founder Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong authorities arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai on Monday, broadening their enforcement of a new national security law and stoking fears of a crackdown on the semi-autonomous region's free press.(AP PhotoVincent Yu)