Hong Kong police shuts down another news outlet and arrest staff

Stand News, a Hong Kong pro-democracy media organization, has shut down after national security officers stormed its headquarters on Wednesday and detained seven persons involved with the magazine. It's another another blow to the city's dwindling journalistic liberties.

On its Facebook page, the independent news website stated that it had discontinued operations and fired all staff, effective immediately. According to the announcement, Stand News will immediately cease updating its website and social media pages, which will be deactivated within days.

Police detained numerous current and former senior staff members linked with the newspaper, including pop sensation Denise Ho, according to the release.

Senior editor of "Stand News" Ronson Chan

Steve Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong police's National Security Department, stated during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the arrests were linked to various "seditious" articles published by the outlet between July 2020 and November 2021.

Li also stated that authorities raided the news outlet's headquarters in the city's Kwun Tong district and froze around 61 million Hong Kong dollars ($7.8 million) in corporate assets.

According to a government statement issued earlier Wednesday, 200 police officers were engaged in the newsroom raid, during which they seized journalistic documents.

Ho and Margaret Ng, a former pro-democracy politician and notable attorney — both former members of the news outlet's board of directors — were among those arrested. According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association, former Stand News head editor Chung Pui-kuen and interim chief editor Patrick Lam were also arrested (HKJA).

Though a first government notification issued on Wednesday mentioned a "plot to produce seditious publications" — charges stemming from a colonial-era offenses code – the police officers engaged in the Stand News case are national security personnel.

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