Blinken calls for release of pro-democracy journalists after Hong Kong arrests

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday condemned Hong Kong’s arrest of seven Stand News staff and referred to as on China to stop “concentrating on” the town’s free press.

Blinken also demanded the discharge of the journalists and media executives detained and charged in Wednesday’s raid.

“Freedom of expression, including media freedom, and access to info offered by an unbiased media are important to affluent and secure societies. These freedoms enabled Hong Kong to flourish as a worldwide middle for finance, commerce, schooling, and tradition. By silencing unbiased media, PRC and native authorities undermine Hong Kong’s credibility and viability. A confident authorities that is unafraid of the truth embraces a free press,” Blinken stated in a press release.

Tons of of Hong Kong cops raided the information organization’s headquarters on Wednesday, in the latest in a collection of crackdowns on unbiased media and press freedoms in the city. Stand Information, a pro-democracy news web site, stated later Wednesday it might shut down instantly, delete social media pages and dismiss all staff.

“Stand News’s& editorial policy was to be independent and committed to safeguarding Hong Kong’s core values& of democracy, human rights, freedom, the rule of regulation and justice,” the announcement stated. “Thanks, readers, on your continued help.”

Hong Kong’s media clampdown began in 2020 when the Chinese Communist Celebration imposed a new national safety regulation in a bid to halt intense and typically violent protests. One of many city’s most well-known pro-democracy newspapers, Apple Every day, was pressured to close its doors earlier this yr after multiple police raids and the arrest of founder Jimmy Lai and a number of other prime editors.

Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has but to make clear how journalists can avoid breaking the broad yet obscure nationwide safety regulation.