US: Closing News Medium Undermines Hong Kong’s Credibility
Hong Kong police raided a news outlet, and arrested journalists on Wednesday undermined Hong Kong’s credibility. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accuses China and local authorities of “silencing” independent media.
Officers raided the Stand News editorial office on Wednesday and made seven arrests. Employees of the online news medium are suspected of “conspiracy to publish incendiary publications”.
Stand News, one of the most critical independent media in the metropolis since it was founded in 2014, had to close after the police raid. That is very bad, says Blinken. “A government that is not afraid of the truth should embrace the free press.” The American minister must therefore release the arrested employees.
In a response to the accusations of US Secretary Blinken, Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong, states that the arrests and raids are not aimed at the media in general. It was only about Stand News, Lam reports. In addition, the top executive states that it is not up to foreign governments to demand the release of suspects, which is “against the law”.
Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony for a long time but has been part of China since 1997. That communist people’s republic had promised that the city would receive special status for another half-century. This arrangement is called ‘one country, two systems’. As a result, Hong Kong residents had more freedoms than people in other parts of China.