Hong Kong's Stand News to shut down after police raid, arrests

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 29 2021 06:01 PM

Stand News acting chief editor Patrick Lam, one of the six people arrested
Stand News acting chief editor Patrick Lam, one of the six people arrested "for conspiracy to publish seditious publication" according to Hong Kong's Police National Security Department, is escorted by police as they leave after the police searched his office in Hong Kong, China, December 29, 2021. Tyrone Siu, Reuters

Hong Kong's pro-democracy media outlet Stand News said on Wednesday it will cease operations after police raided the news site's office and arrested seven current and former staff members.

Stand News said in a statement posted on Facebook that acting editor-in-chief Patrick Lam had resigned and all employees have been terminated.

"Because of the current situation, Stand News will stop operating immediately, and stop updating its website and all social media," the outlet said in a statement, adding its website and social media accounts will be taken down soon.

Stand News thanked its readers, saying it was established as a non-profit in December 2014 to "take a stand in Hong Kong".

"Stand News was editorially independent, and was dedicated to protecting Hong Kong's core values such as democracy, human rights, freedom, rule of law and justice," the outlet said.

An AFP reporter saw Stand News' Lam being led handcuffed into the office and national security police carrying boxes from the news site's office earlier on Wednesday.

More than 200 officers were deployed to search the Stand News newsroom with court authorisation to seize journalistic materials, police said.

Suppression of Hong Kong's local press has increased in the wake of 2019's huge and often violent democracy protests and Beijing's subsequent imposition of a sweeping national security law.