Local media outlets witnessed raids, senior media staff arrested

Hong Kong: Hong Kong media company members have been arrested. Among the arrested people some were working media professionals and some were former senior staff.

These arrests were made after more than 200 national security police officers were deployed to raid the offices of Stand News, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported. The arrests were made on suspicion of breaching the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance by conspiring to publish seditious publications, the publication added.

Hong Kong police said they conducted a search on the office of the online media company for relevant journalistic materials.

This development comes a day after Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and six other former staff members of the tabloid Apple Daily are set to face an additional sedition charge, under the Beijing-imposed national security law.

The prosecution imposed the additional charge and accused Lai and others of conspiring to collude with foreign powers under the city’s sweeping security legislation, according to HKFP.

China controlled government’s implementation of the National Security Law has upended Hong Kong’s political environment in the past year.

The city authorities now view political participation as subversive, and the authorities are targeting many across a broad cross-section of the population under the new law.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) last month had revealed a survey of correspondent and journalist members on a wide range of issues related to press freedom since the implementation of the National Security Law in June 2020.

The survey said that the vast majority of respondents reported an overall deterioration in the working environment for journalists, noting, in particular, the unwillingness of sources to be quoted and the need for reporters to self-censor their writing or delete images.