Hong Kong police on Monday arrested media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, one of his sons and an executive of his publishing group, as well as at least three activists, for allegedly colluding with foreign forces under the city’s sweeping new national security law. Lai, a fierce critic of Beijing, has been the most high-profile figure detained under the controversial legislation, which was imposed by the central government on Hong Kong. The law, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, came into force late on June 30. Another one of Lai’s sons and several more of his business associates were also arrested alongside Lai on accusations of conspiracy to defraud. The police raid on Lai’s publishing group, Next Media, was the biggest crackdown of its kind, following similar raids on the homes of several activists of the now-disbanded pro-independence group Studentlocalism less than two weeks ago. Critics, meanwhile, say the new law has become a useful weapon in the government’s arsenal of repression, and since it came into effect 41 days ago, authorities have not hesitated to make arrests under it. How many arrests have been made under the law since July 1, and how many have been charged or brought to court? At least 20 people have reportedly been arrested for allegedly violating the national security law, but so far, only one man has been charged. Tong Ying-kit was accused of violating the law when he allegedly rode his motorcycle into a group of police officers during a protest on July 1, while carrying a flag bearing the popular protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong; revolution of our times”. First person charged under national security law remanded after bail application rejected He has been in custody since July 6, when he was first brought to court to face charges of inciting secession and engaging in terrorism. The 23-year-old applied for bail and a writ of habeas corpus at the Court of First Instance last week, and the applications will be heard on August 20. Who has been arrested? Tong Ying-kit was among 10 people, six men and four women, who were arrested for alleged national security offences during protests less than 24 hours after the law came into force. Some were arrested when police allegedly found them in possession of materials bearing offending slogans, such as “Hong Kong Independence”, or “one nation one Hong Kong”, while others were accused of waving a flag associated with the Hong Kong independence movement. The second string of high-profile arrests came on July 29, when 19-year-old activist Tony Chung Hon-lam, a former key member of the group Studentlocalism, became the first political figure to be arrested on suspicion of inciting secession under the controversial law. Three other former members of Studentlocalism, aged 16 to 21, were also rounded up for the same alleged offence. The group had previously advocated for Hong Kong independence, but disbanded on June 30, hours before the law came into force. The four former members were released on bail some two days later, and have not been formally charged. The highest-profile arrests, however, came on Monday, when Jimmy Lai, his son Ian Lai Yiu-yan, and Next Digital chief financial officer Royston Chow Tat-kuen were arrested for allegedly colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security. Four members of Hong Kong pro-independence group arrested by national security unit Jimmy Lai’s aide, Mark Simon, who was not in Hong Kong at the time of the arrests, is also wanted on unspecified charges. The group were still being detained for questioning as of Monday night. According to a police source, Jimmy Lai was arrested for “collusion with a foreign country, uttering seditious words and conspiracy to defraud”. Young activist Agnes Chow Ting, of the now disbanded group Demosisto, was also detained for national security law offences on Monday. Also arrested on accusations of collusion were Wilson Li Chung-chak, a freelancer for ITV and former member of the now-disbanded student activist group Scholarism, and Andy Li, a member of the Election Observation Mission – set up to monitor last November’s district council elections. The pair were linked in media reports last year to a group locally referred to as team “I want to laam caau ” – an expression literally meaning “embrace and fry”, and often summed up with the slogan, “if we burn, you burn with us”. The group was behind a crowdfunded global ad campaign advocating for Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms during last year’s anti-government protests. Which was the biggest operation? The raid at the headquarters of Lai’s Next Digital in Tseung Kwan O, home of the tabloid-style Apple Daily newspaper – a fierce critic of the Beijing government – was by far the biggest operation. More than 200 police officers were involved in the raid. They rifled through desks and papers, told employees to present identification cards and warned journalists to stop filming and photographing the raid. Officers took away 25 boxes of materials, according to Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the police’s national security department. The raid lasted about six hours, though Li maintained that officers did not search or take away any reporters’ notebooks or papers. As Hong Kong police raid Apple Daily offices, live feed allows world to watch Have police tried to arrest anyone overseas? Articles 37 and 38 of the law stipulate that it also applies to alleged offences committed outside Hong Kong, both by Hong Kong citizens and by anyone “who is not a permanent resident”. In addition to Mark Simon, an American, it was revealed on July 30 that six activists – including five who had fled Hong Kong and one based in the US – were being sought by police on suspicion of violating the national security law. They include Nathan Law Kwun-chung, an activist turned lawmaker who was stripped of his Legco seat because of improper oath-taking; Simon Cheng Man-kit, a former British consulate employee; and activists Ray Wong Toi-yeung and Lau Hong, also known as Honcques Laus, both of whom are in Britain. Also on the list were pro-independence advocate Wayne Chan Ka-kui, previously reported to be in Amsterdam, and US-based Samuel Chu, of the Hong Kong Democracy Council. Chu is a US citizen and is believed to be the first non-Chinese citizen to be targeted under the law. Their cases represented the first time Hong Kong police had invoked the law’s extraterritorial provisions. It was reported the six men were wanted for “incitement to secession and collusion with foreign forces”. Police seek activist Nathan Law, 5 others for inciting secession, collusion: insider Have concerns been raised over press freedoms following the raid on Next Media? Hong Kong’s media industry had been bracing for the impact of the new law ever since it took effect. The city has long been a regional base of Asian operations for some of the world’s largest and best-known news outlets, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal . Last month, the Times said it would move some of its operations to Seoul, citing uncertainty and fears over the new law. Following Monday’s raid, the city’s Foreign Correspondents’ Club – which last week urged the government to clarify the impact of the law on the work of journalists – condemned the Next Digital arrests, calling the police action “a dark new phase in the erosion of the city’s global reputation”. New York Times’ partial move from Hong Kong to Seoul sparked by visa denial Chris Yeung Kin-hing, the Hong Kong Journalists Association’s chairman, described the raid as “horrendous”, and called on fellow journalists to prepare for the worst, particularly in light of what he called threats against the protection of their sources. “From day one when the law was passed – followed by the promulgation of details about the execution – we were already quite worried about the wide and broad powers given to police in their law enforcement on matters they deem as a threat to national security,” he said. “Unfortunately it didn’t take long for our worries to become a reality, and in an extremely bad case of [a] police operation and raid [on] a media office. Today it’s the Next Media, tomorrow it could be any other media organisation.” Yeung noted that even those who had been working in journalism for decades in Hong Kong had never seen anything similar. The Democratic Party, meanwhile, issued a statement slamming the arrests and suggesting the freedoms of speech and the press guaranteed under the Basic Law were now at stake. But former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, now a vice-chairman of China’s top political advisory body – the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference – said it was only natural that police would enter a “crime scene” to collect evidence. “The Next Media building is by no means [a] lawless frontier,” he said. Meanwhile, a spokesperson of Beijing’s foreign affairs office in Hong Kong also hit out at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in a statement issued in the early hours of Monday, accusing it of “misrepresenting the truth, heaping groundless accusation upon the national security law and law-enforcement efforts of Hong Kong police and trying to whitewash and justify Jimmy Lai and other criminal suspects”.