After Apple Daily, another Hong Kong media company shuts down following police raids

December 29, 2021 6:22 p.m. STI

Hong Kong, Dec 29th (ANI): A few months after the closure of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, another Hong Kong-based media company – Stand News – announced that it was halting operations after seven years and removing all contents.
It comes hours after a police raid and seven arrests on Wednesday. Authorities froze assets worth HK$61 million, Hong Kong Free Press reported.
Earlier today, more than 200 National Security Police officers were deployed to raid the offices of Stand News.
As many as seven current or former senior executives of the Hong Kong online media company have been arrested on suspicion of violating the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance by conspiring to publish seditious posts, it added. publication.
The development comes on a day when Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai and six other former staffers of the Apple Daily tabloid are set to face an additional sedition charge under Beijing’s national security law.

Steve Li, chief superintendent of the police’s National Security Department, said those arrested played “significant roles in the editorial direction and strategy of the company”.
During the raid on the newsroom, officers found computers, mobile phones and HK$500,000 in cash, he said, adding that other arrest warrants had been issued. .
Li accused Stand News of publishing “seditious materials” between the enactment of the security law last June and November 2021 with the intention of provoking hatred towards the government, the judiciary and provoking the discontent of the public, which may cause them to disobey the law or the law. government orders.
In recent months, the crackdown on news agencies and pro-democracy activists has intensified. In early June, Apple Daily witnessed similar actions by authorities. It was then closed.
Hot on the heels of the Apple Daily newsroom raid, Stand News removed all opinion pieces from its website in June. It also halted donations as six of the eight board members resigned.
“These cases have been taken to court. Have we seen this happen? Is there any evidence? These are examples of sedition,” Li said. line and other so-called “international front” [activists] conspired to incite hatred towards the government and endangered national security through its platform.” (ANI)

Cathy W. Howerton