The arrest of Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai fuels fears that the new security law is being used to stifle freedom of expression and media in Hong Kong, the European Union said.
Hong Kong authorities must adequately protect the freedom of the press and other rights and freedoms, spokesman for EU foreign chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
Lai, the founder of the Apple Daily newspaper and prominent member of the democratization movement, was arrested on suspicion of collusion with foreign powers and fraud. The newspaper’s offices have been raided. Members of the Lais family have also been arrested.
The EU has been warning for some time about the consequences of the security law that will increase China’s power in the former British crown colony.
EU countries recently decided on export restrictions on products that can be used to quell protests or control communications.
The EU statement reiterates that freedom of the press and pluralism are pillars of democracy.