Jimmy Lai, a 72-year-old media tycoon and activist who is a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was arrested early Monday, accused of colluding with foreign forces, The Washington Post reports.
This is a crime under Hong Kong's new national security law that aims to stifle dissent, and anyone found guilty could receive life in prison. Lai's company, Next Digital, publishes the Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper, and a person familiar with the matter said several company executives were also arrested on Monday, the Post reports.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Police Force said seven men between the ages of 39 and 72 were arrested on suspicion of breaching the security law, but did not release their names. Mark Simon, one of Lai's close aides, said two of Lai's sons were among those arrested.
Lai is from mainland China, and became politically active in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He has been calling for greater freedoms and democracy in Hong Kong, and was arrested in February on charges of illegal assembly and intimidation.