As of: 12/29/2021 1:05 p.m.
The police arrested six journalists and former employees of the news site “Stand News” during a raid in Hong Kong. The online medium is forced to cease operations.
It’s six in the morning. On-line videos can be seen how police officers from the National Security Agency in Hong Kong bring an editor of the news site “Stand News” for questioning. Chan Long Shing is also the chairman of the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association. While he was released at noon, six of his colleagues and former employees of the online pro-democracy magazine are still being held by the police.
Those arrested are current and former editors-in-chief of the magazine and people from the former board of directors. As reported by the Chinese state media, they are suspected of having published inflammatory texts and created a platform for them.
According to the police, the Hong Kong government has frozen the media company’s assets – the equivalent of almost seven million euros. “Stand News” itself has meanwhile announced that it will cease operations. Accordingly, the magazine will remove all content on the website and in social media during the day.
“War on Independent Journalism”
A shock, says Cedric Alviani of Reporters Without Borders in East Asia. The magazine “Stand News” was nominated by the non-governmental organization for the Prize for Press Freedom 2021 in November – in the independence category.
“Stand News in Hong Kong is a very important independent medium,” says Alviani. “The problem is that these days in Hong Kong, as in mainland China, the authorities consider it a crime for reporters to cover what is happening. It is a war on independent journalism. Obviously, they do not tolerate the media reporting things that are not insignificant Fit narrative. ”
Reporters Without Borders urges the democratic states not to leave the journalists in Hong Kong alone. Since the Chinese central government passed the so-called security law for Hong Kong last year, the authorities in the autonomously governed special administrative region have been cracking down on activists and journalists.
Foreign correspondents are concerned
“We know we’re between the holidays right now, but it is very important that democratic states respond to the arrests and that they signal to the Chinese and Hong Kong governments that they will not tolerate freedom of the press inside and outside China is under attack, “said Alviani.
The Foreign Correspondents Club in Hong Kong, an association of foreign correspondents in the city, is also deeply concerned. After the now defunct Apple Daily, Stand News is another major media company in Hong Kong against which the authorities are taking action.
Hong Kong: Pro-democratic news site “Stand News” closes operations
Eva Lamby-Schmitt, ARD Shanghai, 29.12.2021 · 12:34 pm