Hong Kong: Police arrests journalists again

As of: 12/29/2021 10:19 AM.

Police arrested six journalists during a raid on the Stand News office building in Hong Kong. This is the second media company to be targeted by the judiciary in a matter of months.

Hong Kong authorities have arrested six current and former employees of a news site. Police said more than 200 officers were on duty to search the office of “Stand News”, which is reportedly particularly popular with democracy activists. An AFP reporter sees editor-in-chief Patrick Lam being escorted out of an office building in handcuffs.

“Stand News” is the second Hong Kong media company to be targeted by the judiciary, after “Apple Daily”. A video streamed live on the organization’s Facebook page shows police officers standing in front of editor Ronson Chan’s door early in the morning. He told Chan that he had a search warrant against him for “conspiracy to publish a seditious publication”.

According to the Chief of Officers, “Stand News” is “Demon”.

The legal basis for these allegations dates back to the time when Hong Kong was a British colony. Chan, who is also the president of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, was not arrested. However, according to media reports, those arrested include lawyer and former MP Margaret Ng and Chung Pui-kuen, former editor-in-chief of Stand News. Pop singer Dennis Ho, who, like Ng, sat on the nonprofit’s board of directors until his resignation in June, was also arrested, according to his Facebook page.

Stand News has been repeatedly criticized by Hong Kong authorities. For example, security chief Chris Tang recently accused the site of publishing a “biased, slanderous and demonic” report of the detention situation in Hong Kong. For months in 2019 in Hong Kong, there were massive protests against Beijing’s growing influence. Since then, officials have been acting with increasing seriousness against critics in the Special Administrative Region.

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“Stand News” has since announced that it will be closed. The Facebook page said editor-in-chief Lam had resigned and that all staff had been fired. The website and its accounts in the online network will no longer be updated and will soon be completely removed.

“Apple Daily” had to cease operations

The so-called Security Act came into force in July 2020. This allows officials to crack down on any activity they feel threatens China’s national security. It includes all activities that China regards as calls for secession, subversion, collusion with foreign powers and terrorism. More than 100 activists have been arrested or are awaiting trial. Many have already been convicted. Many opposition members have fled abroad for fear of prosecution.

In the middle of the year, the pro-democracy newspaper “Apple Daily” was forced to close after its assets were confiscated and its officers were arrested. Jimmy Lai, 74, owner and democracy activist, is also in jail.

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