US calls on China, Hong Kong to release Stand News workers

Stand News Acting Editor-in-Chief Patrick Lam, one of six arrested “for conspiring to publish a seditious publication” according to the Hong Kong Police Department of National Security, is escorted by police as they leave after police raided his office in Hong Kong, China, December 29, 2021. REUTERS / Tyrone Siu

WASHINGTON, Dec.29 (Reuters) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday called on Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to immediately release staff members of the pro-democracy outlet Stand News who were arrested after a police raid that put end of publication.

“We call on the authorities in the PRC and Hong Kong to stop targeting the free and independent media in Hong Kong and immediately release journalists and media officials who have been wrongfully detained and charged,” Blinken said in a statement. , referring to the People’s Republic of China.

“By silencing the independent media, the PRC and local authorities are undermining the credibility and viability of Hong Kong,” he said.

Stand News, established in 2014 as a nonprofit, was the largest pro-democracy publication remaining in Hong Kong after a national security investigation this year led to the shutdown of the tycoon’s Apple Daily tabloid. imprisoned Jimmy Lai.

The Stand News raid raises more concerns about press freedom in the former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with a promise that its freedoms, including a free press, would be protected. Read more

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Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Himani Sarkar

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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