Hong Kong pro-democracy website Stand News closes after police raid

A vocal pro-democracy web page in Hong Kong close down on Wednesday after police raided its place of job and arrested seven current and previous editors, board participants and a journalist in a unbroken crackdown on dissent within the semi-self sustaining Chinese city.

Stand Information stated in an announcement that its website online and social media are no longer being updated and can be taken down. It said all workers had been dismissed.

The website online was one among essentially the most vocal pro-democracy news outlets in Hong Kong after the professional-democracy newspaper Apple Daily ceased operations in advance this 12 months.

More than TWO HUNDRED officials have been involved within the search, police said. they’d a warrant to seize relevant journalistic materials below a countrywide security regulation enacted ultimate yr.

The arrests came about early Wednesday below a colonial-era crimes ordinance for conspiracy to put up a seditious publication, and searches in their apartments have been underway, police said. The Ones convicted may just face as much as years in jail and a good of up to HK$FIVE,000 (€570).

According to the native South China Morning Put Up newspaper, police arrested one current and one former editor at Stand Information, as well as 4 former board participants including singer and activist Denise Ho and previous lawmaker Margaret Ng.

Police didn’t determine folks that were arrested.

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A Fb submit early Wednesday morning on Ho’s account confirmed that she was being arrested. A subsequent message published on her behalf said she was ok and instructed friends and supporters to not fear about her.

That post drew just about FORTY,000 likes and 2,SEVEN HUNDRED feedback, mostly from supporters.

Early Wednesday, Stand Information published a video on Facebook of police officers at the home of a deputy editor, Ronson Chan, the place they had been investigating the alleged crime. Chan, who’s also chair of the Hong Kong Reporters Association (HKJA), used to be taken away for wondering, the supplier confirmed in an announcement.

Chan, who was later released, instructed media the police seized his electronic units, bank cards and press card.

The crackdown on dissent had observed police raid the offices of the now-defunct Apple Day-To-Day newspaper, seizing boxes of materials and difficult drives to help of their investigation and freezing tens of millions in property that later compelled the paper to cease operations.

Police charged former Apple Daily writer Jimmy Lai with sedition on Tuesday.

Stand News said in advance this yr that it could droop subscriptions and take away so much opinion items and columns from its web site as a result of the nationwide safety regulation. Six board members had additionally resigned from the company.

The HKJA steered the city’s govt to give protection to press freedom in accordance with Hong Kong’s mini-charter, the elemental Legislation.

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“The Hong Kong Reporters Association (HKJA) is deeply concerned that the police have again and again arrested senior members of the media and searched the places of work of news firms containing large quantities of journalistic fabrics inside a 12 months,” it said in a press release.

Benedict Rogers, co-founder and CEO of the non-governmental corporation Hong Kong Watch, stated the arrests are “not anything short of an all-out attack at the freedom of the press in Hong Kong.”

“When a free press guaranteed via Hong Kong’s Fundamental Regulation is labelled ‘seditious,’ it’s a symbol of the velocity at which this once great, open, international city has descended into little more than a police state,” he said.

Wednesday’s arrests additionally followed the removal of sculptures and other paintings from college campuses closing week. The works supported democracy and memorialised the victims of China’s crackdown on democracy protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq. in 1989.

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