Today’s raid on the offices of Hong Kong media outlet StandNews and the arrest of six individuals linked to it is a brutal crackdown on media freedom. Those arrested include current acting Chief Editor Patrick Lam, Deputy Editor Ronson Chan, pro-democracy activist and lawyer Margaret Ng, and activist and pop star Denise Ho.
The arrests come one day after Jimmy Lai, former owner of Apple Daily and six former Apple Daily journalists were hit with the new charges of “conspiracy to ‘print, publish, sell, offer for sale, distribute, display and/or reproduce seditious publications.”
They are also within days of Tiananmen Square commemoration statues being removed from Hong Kong’s landscape. Each of these actions alone would represent an attack on fundamental freedoms of expression and the media; combined they are an all-out assault, a terrifying combination that seeks to silence any form of dissent and gut the city of media freedom. StandNews has since announced its closure.
Freedom of the press is guaranteed under Article 27 of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the constitutional settlement that has governed the city-region since 1997. Clearly Beijing has no intention to honour this article. Please join us in condemning these actions and reminding Beijing of its obligations to Hong Kong.
As always we at Index #StandWithHongKong.