Hong Kong and China defend raid on news group after US condemnation

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Hong Kong and Chinese officials countered international accusations of police attacks on the Stand News after media support for democratization was forced to shut down and seven people were arrested.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the action, saying the silence of the independent media threatened Hong Kong’s credibility as a global financial center.

“We call [the People’s Republic of China] Hong Kong officials will stop targeting Hong Kong’s free and independent media and immediately release journalists and media executives who have been unfairly detained and charged. ”

“Freedom of expression, including media freedom, and access to information provided by independent media are important to a prosperous and secure society. These freedoms make Hong Kong a center of finance, trade, education and culture. I was able to prosper as a land. “

The comments elicited harsh reactions from Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam argued that the arrest “has nothing to do with the so-called suppression of press freedom.”

“But inciting others through inciting acts and activities, and public acts and activities, [guidelines] “News coverage,” she said at a press conference.

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, accused the United States of “freedom of the press and freedom of expression cannot be used as a shield for criminal activity” with “hypocritical double standards.”

“No country, organization or individual has the right to interfere with Hong Kong’s problems,” he added.

Hundreds of police Attacked stand news On Wednesday, seven individuals were arrested on suspicion of “a plot to publish incendiary publications” under the city’s British colonial law, including a deputy chief editor and former executives.

Police have accused the government of “inciting hatred” through news reports, including interviews with supporters of democracy and articles written by activists.

Founded in 2014, the site freezes HK $ 61 million (US $ 8 million) in assets under extensive national security legislation imposed by Beijing in response to the 2019 anti-democratization movement. After that, it announced that it would stop operating.

The arrested persons included Denise Ho, a well-known Hong Kong singer and activist who is a Canadian citizen, and Margaret Ng, a barrister and former member of the Diet, both of whom were former Stand News officers.

Ho and Ng were granted police bail and were released from detention on Thursday.

Patrick Lam, acting editor-in-chief of Stand News, and former editor-in-chief Jung Puiken were formally charged by the conspiracy police, published a conspiracy publication, and refused bail.

Canada’s Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said, “I am deeply concerned about the arrest,” he added, “in cooperation with international allies, he continues to speak out and condemn these violations of freedom.”

EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano has 50 years of freedom of the press under a one country, two systems model that allows Hong Kong to gain a high degree of autonomy from Beijing for 50 years since the UK took over China’s sovereignty in 1997. Said it was guaranteed.

There is increasing pressure on the media, which is considered critical of the government and Beijing. Apple Daily, a newspaper that supports democratization, was forced to shut down six months before its assets were frozen and its founder Jimmy Lai and senior journalists were arrested.

Foreign journalists have been denied visa applications to work in the city, and authorities are considering a “fake news” law.

More than 70% of respondents to the investigation by the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong said they were concerned that they would be arrested or prosecuted by the authorities for journalism.

A Stand News journalist told the Financial Times that he felt “angry and sad” about the police attack and forced closure and remembered that his colleagues were banned from filming the attack and using electronic devices.

“We were doing serious journalism without any other intention,” he said.

Additional report by Emma Zhou in Beijing

Hong Kong and China defend raid on news group after US condemnation Source link Hong Kong and China defend raid on news group after US condemnation

The post Hong Kong and China defend raid on news group after US condemnation appeared first on California News Times.

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