HONG KONG (KLTV) – In another blow to independent journalism in Hong Kong, police raided the offices of Stand News, a non-profit online media outlet.
According to the Hong Kong Police’s National Security Department, more than 200 officers were involved in a search of Stand News’ offices and the homes of current and former staff members.
Officers seized computers and documents from the organization’s newsroom in Kwun Tong district on Wednesday, according to a post on the Stand News Facebook page.
A Facebook Live video posted online purported to show law enforcement officers serving under warrant at the home of Deputy Director of Interviews Chen Langsheng.
Stand News later announced that it would cease publication immediately, in addition to the resignation of editor-in-chief Patrick Lam and the suspension of all news staff.
“The website and all social media immediately stop updating and will be taken down in a few days.”
A government press release said three men and three women who had been employed by Stand News had been arrested for “conspiring to publish a seditious publication” under China’s new national security law enacted in 2020.
Founded in 2014, the Stand News website said the publication was committed to “core values such as democracy, human rights, freedom, rule of law and justice”.
Speaking to a group of reporters on Monday, Stand News assignments editor Ronson Chan responded to the allegations.
“Stand News is committed to professional reporting. There is no doubt about that; the world can testify to that fact. No accusation can change that fact.
In a translated statement, the Hong Kong Journalists Association called on the authorities to respect press freedom guaranteed by the Basic Law.
“This Council is deeply concerned about the numerous arrests by police in the name of national security and the search for news outlets containing a large number of briefing materials in the name of national security.”
Stand News becomes the latest pro-democracy outlet in the semi-autonomous Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to shut down.
The June closure of the popular Apple Daily, founded by activist and media mogul Jimmy Lai, was seen as a blow to press freedom in the city.
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