Stand News editor-in-chief Patrick Lam is led to his media headquarters in handcuffs during a search on December 29, 2021 in Hong Kong. — AFP pic
HONG KONG, Dec 29 — Hong Kong’s pro-democracy media outlet Stand News said today 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 today.
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. — AFP