October 1, 2022

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Dissolves an independent news site after police intervention - VG

Dissolves an independent news site after police intervention – VG

Appeal: Hong Kong police kidnapped Stand News editor Patrick Lam on Wednesday.

Pro-democracy Stand News says they will dismantle the news site after police arrested seven people linked to them. A disaster for press freedom, says Norway’s Hong Kong Commission on Police Action.

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Hong Kong police have made another round of press-related arrests.

This time against Hong Kong’s newest independent news source, Stand News.

Early Wednesday morning local time, police arrested seven people who allegedly “conspired to spread mutiny content,” writes NTB.

Police said they do not rule out more arrests in connection with Wednesday’s operation, Reuters reported.

Police said the detainees’ homes were being searched.

They have already confiscated money for the news site worth about NOK 69 million, as well as computers, phones, press materials and about half a million kroner in cash from their offices.

Stand News posted a video on Facebook of police officers at the home of one of the site’s editors, and police said they had sent more than 200 officers to search the site’s offices in the Kwun Tong area.

In the video below, you can watch the police seize chests from Stand News:

The news site

Hong Kong Prime Minister John Lee based the arrests on the fact that the press cannot be a tool against what he calls national security. Police claim Stand News published articles that fueled hatred against the authorities.

At the same time that there is more information about the arrests, Stand News itself says it will dissolve the news site and remove all articles.

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Hong Kong Prime Minister John Lee based the arrests on the fact that the press cannot be a tool against what he calls national security.

Police claim that their actions against people affiliated with Stand News do not harm press freedom or individual rights in the area.

Editors: Hong Kong police on Wednesday arrested Stand News’ Ronson Chan. Chan is also the president of the Hong Kong Association of Journalists.

Editors, pop stars and politicians

Those arrested include Stand News editors Patrick Lamm and Ronson Chan. In addition to his job at Stand News, Chan is also the president of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

Local pop star Denise Ho, who was a former member of the site’s board of directors, wrote on Facebook that she had also been arrested.

Among those arrested were co-founder, lawyer and former politician Margaret Ng and former editor-in-chief of Stand News Chung Boye Quinn, local media reported.

Arrest: Pop star and Democratic activist Dennis Ho.

China tightens

Hong Kong authorities have Since last summer hit hard On freedom of expression and freedom of the press. This is happening in the wake of China’s adoption of a new and controversial method Security Code For Hong Kong, then in 2019 it was Large-scale democratic demonstrations in the area for months.

Among other things, former media mogul and activist Jimmy Lai was also accused this week of distributing rebellious content. He was also charged with violating the National Security Act, and was convicted of participating in illegal demonstrations.

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Lais’ newspaper, Apple Daily, was shut down in June after authorities intervened, first in the form of a police raid during which several leaders were arrested and then the newspaper’s funds frozen.

Many opposition figures were imprisoned or fled abroad.

Muscles show: Police have on several occasions cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong. Here they are on guard during a demonstration on China’s National Day, October 1, 2020.

Serious escalation

The Hong Kong Committee of Norway called the arrests a “brutal attack on press freedom in Hong Kong”.

A press release said the arrests represented a dangerous escalation of attacks on the remaining rights and freedoms of Hong Kong, which were guaranteed by Beijing in 1997, in reference to Hong Kong’s “constitution”, which was adopted when Hong Kong was handed over from it. From the UK to China in 1997.

The law was intended to ensure that the promise of one country, two systems was fulfilled.

The last remaining aspects of civil society, which separate Hong Kong from China, have now been removed at an alarming rate, the commission continues.

It highlights the removal of the “Support Shame” monument from the University of Hong Kong and similar monuments following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Read more about the state of the press in Hong Kong here:

Major police operation in Hong Kong: newspaper dignitaries arrestedChina’s attacks on the free press