11/30/2021 02:23:30 pm

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Apple Daily Protesters Ordered to Vacate Premises by High Court

Jimmy Lai

(Photo : Reuters) Jimmy Lai, chairman and founder of Next Media, holds up a copy of the Apple Daily newspaper.

The High Court of Hong Kong has issued an order directing the demonstrators, who have decided to camp out in the premises surrounding the Apple Daily's publisher, Next Media, to put a halt to their occupation of the area.

The instruction had been issued by a judge via a restraining order released on the early morning of Tuesday. In accordance with the order, the judge pointed out the relevance and significance of respecting the freedom of speech. In addition, the judge asserted that he will not dillydally in implementing and safeguarding such right.

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In a report released by the Ming Pao Daily, the instruction from the judge had been released following the plea sent by Next Media officials to the High Court regarding the protesters occupying the premises of their workplace and blocking their entrances. In addition, the company shared their distressed over the harassment suffered by the employees in the hands of the occupiers.

The act of occupying the premises signified that disagreement of the protesters on the decision of Jimmy Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, to support the democracy demonstrations.

In order to show their dismay over the founder's move, the outside part of the company headquarters located in Teseung Kwan O had been surrounded by tents set up by dozens of demonstrators. Based on the report, these protesters had been in the premises and continued to block the entrances since Sunday.

In a statement from the executive chief editor, Chan Pui-man, he claimed that approximately 200 phone calls threatening Lai, as well as company executives and employees, had been received on Monday. Upon tracing the calls, some were determined to have been made overseas while others came from unknown parties.

Apart from the threatening phone calls, the website of the company had also been breached by the alleged hackers on Monday. The hacking incident resulted in a three-hour delay that prevented the company employees from logging in their computers. In addition, the company's internal e-mail system had been down.

In response to the incidents, the employees' union of Next Media slammed the occupation and vowed to intensify their resolve to go on.

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