Hong Kong media tycoon and founder of Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai (C) is surrounded by members of the media as he leaves a police station after he was released on bail in Hong Kong, China before returning to his office after midnight, Wednesday. File Photo by Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Hong Kong media tycoon arrested Monday on charges of violating the city's new national security law was released on bail with other executives of Next Digital media firm, but could still face trial on the Chinese mainland.
Jimmy Lai, founder of the company's popular newspaper Apple Daily, was among 10 people who were let go after being arrested by Hong Kong police. Lai was in police custody for about 40 hours, before he was released from Mong Kok Police Station, Radio Television Hong Kong reported Wednesday.
The decision from Hong Kong authorities came after a committee of China's National People's Congress agreed to extend the term of Hong Kong's legislative body by a year, following a highly criticized decision to delay local elections.
Apple Daily, which live streamed Lai's release and his visit to the newsroom, reported employees lined the stairwells of the office and welcomed him with loud applause and cheers.
"Luckily I was not [extradited] to the Chinese mainland," Lai said, according to the report.
"Let us continue to keep writing articles that upset the pro-China political forces and Hong Kong," Lai said in jest.
"I'm very touched, we will fight on," Lai went to say, according to The Guardian. "We have the support of the Hong Kong people. We can't let them down."
Agnes Chow, a local activist who was also arrested Monday on charges of violating the national security law, was released late Tuesday from Tai Po Police Station.
Protesters in Hong Kong have been gathering in the evening following Lai's dramatic arrest, which involved hundreds of police officers who raided Apple Daily. Some of the protesters were arrested on charges of violating the city's social distancing guidelines, according to Hong Kong Free Press.