Pro-democracy news site closing in Hong Kong after police raid at separate outlet

·2 min read

The Hong Kong news site Citizen News announced on Facebook on Sunday that it would cease publishing on Tuesday, just days after a different news platform was raided by police - the third pro-democracy news platform to cease operations in the city-state in the last few months.

"We have never forgotten our original intentions, but it is a pity that the rapid changes in society in the past two years and the deterioration of the media environment have prevented us from achieving our ideals without worry," Citizen News wrote, according to The Associated Press.

The news site added "we are not only facing wind and rain, but tornadoes and huge waves."

On Dec. 29, seven people associated with Stand News, another pro-democracy news outlet in Hong Kong, were arrested by officials for sedition following a raid on their workplace, the AP reported.

Two former senior editors for Stand News have since been charged with conspiring to publish seditious materials and refused bail, while the platform has ceased publication.

Last year, authorities arrested five editors and executives from Apple Daily, another pro-democracy news outlet, and the newspaper was shuttered.

Hong Kong saw record-low voter turnout last month for its "patriots"-only Legislative Council election, in which candidates were vetted by Beijing, amid escalating restrictions and suppression on democracy and speech.

Hong Kong's justice chief on Friday blasted critics of the Stand News arrests, saying that press freedom "has always been well respected in Hong Kong."

"It is appalling to see that some even openly demand the immediate release of the arrested persons," Secretary of Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah wrote, according to the South China Morning Post.

"Such demands are not only a gross disrespect for the rule of law, but also are in blatant violation of international law and the basic principle of non-intervention," she added.

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