Hong Kong Police Raid Newsroom and Arrest 6 on Sedition Charges

(HONG KONG) — Hong Kong police were raiding the office of an online news outlet on Wednesday after arresting six people for conspiracy to publish a seditious publication.

According to police, more than 200 officers participated in the search. The warrant was to search for relevant journalistic material under the national security law that was enacted last January.

According to police, the arrests of these six individuals were made under a colonial-era crime ordinance, for conspiracy in publishing a seditious publication. Police also conducted searches at their homes.

According to South China Morning Post, one editor and one former editor of Stand News were arrested by police, along with four board members. These included Denise Ho (singer and activist) and Margaret Ng (ex-lawmaker).
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The arrestees were not identified by police.

Stand News shared a Facebook video Wednesday morning of officers investigating the crime at the residence of Ronson Chan, a deputy editor. The South China Morning Post reports that Chan, also chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association was not arrested, but taken to South China Morning Post for questioning.

Authorities are cracking down on any dissent within the city, which is semi-autonomous in China. Jimmy Lai was arrested Tuesday by police for sedition. After assets were frozen, his Apple Daily newspaper was shut down.

Stand News stated earlier this year it would remove all opinion articles and subscriptions from its website and suspend subscriptions due to the new national security law. The company had six board members who had also quit.

Benedict Rogers, co-founder and CEO of the non-governmental organization Hong Kong Watch, said the arrests are “nothing short of an all-out assault on the freedom of the press in Hong Kong.”

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

Wednesday’s arrests also followed the removal of sculptures and other artwork from university campuses last week. The works supported democracy and memorialized the victims of China’s crackdown on democracy protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.


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