Hong Kong: 6 journalists arrested on charges of 'treason'

Six existing journalists and former staff have been arrested.

Hong Kong: 6 journalists arrested on charges of 'treason'
6 journalists arrested on charges of 'treason'

Police in Hong Kong raided the office of pro-democracy Stand News and arrested its current and former employees for a "conspiracy to publish a seditious publication." Six existing journalists and former staff have been arrested. Six media persons have been arrested for "conspiracy to publish seditious publications", the government said in a press release. Police raids home and office In a statement on Wednesday, Hong Kong police said they had searched an "online media company" that had "200 uniformed and plain-clothed police officers". An official police statement did not release the identities of those arrested but said they were three men and three women. Hong Kong broadcaster said the six people were current or former employees of the pro-democracy news website Stand News. DW correspondent Phoebe Kong said officials from the Hong Kong Police's National Security Department searched the home of Ronson Chan, president of the Hong Kong Journalists Association. Police said in a statement that it was conducting searches with warrants authorized to "search and seize relevant journalistic material".

Stand News posted a video of police officers on Facebook saying they have a warrant to investigate "conspiracy to publish publication of seditious material". According to Kong, the police have also searched the homes of Chan's associates in Stand News. A "dangerous trend" Eric Lai, a Hong Kong law fellow at Georgetown University's Center for Asian Law, told DW that the arrest would set a "dangerous precedent" because the government could arrest people "according to prior activity". "The allegation of seditious publishing was also leveled against children's book publishing unions a few months ago," Lai said, adding, "It's quite disturbing because the seditious law in Hong Kong is a kind of speech offense that the government has to deal with." Can be used when needed Hong Kong prosecutors on Tuesday filed an additional "seditious publication" charge against Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai.