press freedom

Hong Kong Stand News arrests ‘beyond reproach’ – Chinese embassy

Reuters
Hong Kong Stand News arrests ‘beyond reproach’ – Chinese embassy

RAID. Police officers escort Stand News editor Patrick Lam through a building hallway as they leave after police searched his office, in Hong Kong on December 29, 2021 in this still image obtained by Reuters from a video.

via Reuters

China claims that the freedom of the press in Hong Kong is 'safeguarded in accordance with the law'

SHANGHAI, China – The police raid on Hong Kong media organization Stand News this week was “completely lawful and beyond reproach,” said a spokesperson with the Chinese embassy in Britain, hitting back at foreign criticism of the move.

The embassy spokesperson was responding to comments by Amanda Milling, British minister of state for Asia, who said on Twitter that the actions “further erode freedom of speech in Hong Kong.”

“The rights and interests of Hong Kong residents, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, are safeguarded in accordance with the law,” China’s embassy said late on Thursday, December 30.

“The Chinese side once again urges the UK to right its wrongs and stop interfering in any form in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs,” the spokesperson added.

Two former senior editors of Stand News were charged with conspiring to publish seditious materials and denied bail by a court on Thursday, a day after a police raid on the pro-democracy media organization that prompted its closure.

About 200 officers raided the online publication’s office, froze its assets, and arrested seven current and former senior editors and former board members on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China and Hong Kong of silencing independent media and called on authorities to immediately release the arrested Stand News staff.

FACTBOX: Stand News, Hong Kong’s most prominent remaining pro-democracy publication

FACTBOX: Stand News, Hong Kong’s most prominent remaining pro-democracy publication

But the official Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, said in an editorial on Friday that “freedom of the press” was being used as an excuse to sow “anti-China chaos” in Hong Kong. It accused foreign politicians of “recklessly discrediting” Hong Kong police.

“Under the cloak of a media organization, Stand News is essentially a political organization through and through,” it said.

“Freedom has a bottom line, and violations of the law must be punished.” – Rappler.com