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Hong Kong: Stand News shuts down following 'chilling' arrests

Responding to the arrests of current and former senior executives and board members of Hong Kong media outlet Stand News for alleged “seditious publication” this morning, Kyle Ward, Amnesty International’s Deputy Secretary General, said:

“The relentless campaign against press freedom in Hong Kong continues with the early-morning police raid and arrests of senior executives of the outspoken media outlet Stand News.

“Authorities continue to weaponise Hong Kong’s legal system by invoking a colonial-era law of ‘seditious publication’.

“The arrests, seizing of journalistic materials and freezing of assets have had an immediate chilling effect, with Stand News announcing that it will cease operations.

“This is sadly not unexpected and continues the downwards spiral for press freedom in Hong Kong.

“All the media workers arrested today solely for doing their legitimate journalistic work must be immediately released.”

Stand News arrests

This morning, current and former executives of Stand News were arrested for “seditious publications” under Article 9 and 10 of the Crimes Ordinance, an archaic colonial-era provision last amended in the 1970s. According to media reports, over 200 national security police officers raided the online news outlet and authorities have confirmed that they have frozen over HK$61 million (US$7.8 million) in assets.

Stand News has since announced that they have ceased operations.

Those arrested include former editor-in-chief Chung Pui-kuen, current editor-in-chief Patrick Lam, former board member and lawmaker Margaret Ng, former board member Christine Fong, Chow Tat-chi and pop singer and former board member Denise Ho.

Yesterday, executives of the now-defunct Apple Daily also faced the additional charge of “seditious publications”.

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