US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken calls for release of detained Hong Kong journalists | abroad

abroadHong Kong police raided a news outlet and arrested two journalists on Wednesday, undermining Hong Kong’s credibility. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken accuses China and local authorities of “silencing” independent media. Therefore, the US Secretary of State must release the suspended employees.

Officers raided the Standing News editorial office on Wednesday and arrested seven. Employees of the online news outlet are suspected of “conspiracy to publish inflammatory publications”.

Two of seven people arrested in Hong Kong on Wednesday have been formally charged with sedition, police said. “The National Security Police have formally charged two men, aged 34 and 52, and an Internet media company, with conspiring to create a seditious publication,” the statement said, without revealing their identities.

According to local media, it is about editor Patrick Lam and his predecessor Chung Boye Quinn. Police said the other five “remain in custody pending investigation.”

Stand News, one of the capital’s most important independent media outlets since its founding in 2014, was forced to shut down after a police raid. That’s too bad, Blinken says. “A government that is not afraid of the truth must embrace freedom of the press.” Therefore, the US Secretary of State must release the suspended employees.

In response to US Secretary of State Blinken’s accusations, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has stated that the arrests and raids do not generally target the media. It was only about Stand News, Lamm reports. In addition, the top executive states that foreign governments have no right to demand the release of suspects, and this is “against the law.”

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Hong Kong had been a British Crown colony for a long time, but had been a 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 enjoy more freedoms than those in other parts of China.

Denton Watson

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