Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Publication Shuttered

Stand News acting chief editor Patrick Lam is accompanied by authorities after they browsed his workplace in Hong Kong, China, December 29, 2021. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

A dissident pro-democracy site in Hong Kong closed Wednesday after authorities stormed its head office and jailed 6 existing and previous editors and board members in another free-speech suppression project in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Stand News stated in a declaration that it will be dismantling its site and social networks along with terminating operations.

After Apple Daily, which folded in June following pro-China authorities’ choice to freeze its possessions and jail its leading editors, the independent Stand News outlet is the next victim of Hong Kong communist authorities that wish to get rid of dissent. Because earlier bust, Hong Kong authorities raided journalistic products and computer system disk drives as part of a criminal probe.

The 6 individuals connected with Stand News who were jailed consist of popular vocalist and activist Denise Ho, a previous board member. At an instruction Wednesday afternoon, Steve Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong authorities’s National Security Department, implicated those jailed of managing a seditious plot, mentioning politically intriguing short articles released in between July 2020 and November 2021.

Over 200 representatives robbed the workplace, authorities stated, with the objective to take particular files under the National Security Law troubled the city by Beijing in 2020. The law provides the authorities sweeping powers to suspend press liberties.

Those jailed apparently consist of previous Stand News primary editor Chung Pui-kuen, acting chief editor Patrick Lam, and 4 previous board members, consisting of Ho and previous legislator Margaret Ng, according to the Hong Kong Reporters Association (HKJA).

Ronson Chan, chair of the HJKA, was “taken away by the police,” the company composed in a declaration, most likely for interrogation. Chan informed media later on that officers had actually seized his electronic gadgets, bank cards, and press card.

“The Hong Kong Journalists Association is deeply concerned that the police have repeatedly arrested senior members of the media and searched the offices of news organizations containing large quantities of journalistic materials within a year,” the HKJA stated Wednesday. It interested Hong Kong’s constitution, particularly Short article 27 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which technically secures liberty of speech, of journalism, and of publication.

Authorities preserved that they were not punishing journalism however rather hazards to the state.

“We are not targeting reporters, we are not targeting the media, we just targeted national-security offenses,” stated Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the authorities National Security Department. “If you only report, I don’t think this is a problem.”

“Don’t be biased. You know well how to report, how to be a responsible reporter, how to make a non-biased report to your readers. That’s all I can give you,” he stated, using his suggestion to reporters on how to prevent examination and prosecution.

The Wednesday advancement follows Stand News had actually currently scrubbed its site of the majority of viewpoint pieces and columns to comply with the National Security Law.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.