Hong Kong pro-democracy website shutdown after police raid its office
A pro-democracy website in Hong Kong is shutting down following a police raid on his office.
The Stand News office was raided by police on Wednesday, and six current and former staff and board members were arrested, The Associated Press reports. Among those arrested was singer Denise Ho, who served on the board of directors. The news site announced on Facebook that it would shut down operations and lay off all of its employees, according to CNN.
“The editorial policy of Stand News was to be independent and committed to protecting Hong Kong’s core values of democracy, human rights, liberty, the rule of law and justice,” said one Stand News announcement, by The New York Times. “Thank you, readers, for your continued support. “
It comes after the pro-democracy Apple Daily announced in June that it would also be shutting down amid an ongoing crackdown over a new national security law implemented in 2020. According to CNN, the Hong Kong police accused Stand News of publishing “seditious” articles between July 2020 and November 2021.
Hong Kong Watch CEO Benedict Rogers said The Associated Press the arrests were “nothing less than a total attack on press freedom in Hong Kong,” adding: “When a free press guaranteed by Hong Kong’s Basic Law is called ‘seditious’, it is a symbol of the speed at which this great open international city has become little more than a police state. ”