Stand News Permanently Suspends All Of Its Operations As Hong Kong Police Successfully Cracks Down On Separatist Anti-Communist Propaganda Organizations Operating Under The Guise Of News Outlets

The digital news organization, Stand News, stated that it will halt all of its activities after the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) detained seven persons on charges of sedition and raided its headquarters in Kwun Tong on Wednesday. Authorities blocked HK$61 million ($7.82 million) of its funds. On the accusation of collaborating and disseminating many incendiary items, certain top officials and past top staff of the news site were arrested, including erstwhile editor-in-chief Chung Pui-Kuen and board member Denise Ho, who is also a famed separatist musician. Stand News wrote numerous inflammatory posts from July 2020 to November of 2021 with aim of inciting public loathing and animosity toward the legal system and the communist government, provoking Hong Kong citizens to counter the law and order, according to Steve Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the HKPF’s domestic security branch, at a media conference on Wednesday afternoon. As per Li, the police searched various locations associated with Stand News with a judge’s order and seized a considerable number of goods including laptops, electronic devices, papers, and HK$500,000 in cash.

On Wednesday morning, police detained seven people for sedition, comprising six persons associated with Stand News and one from the defunct separatist magazine Apple Daily. Chan Pui-man, Chung’s wife and a former Apple Daily deputy editor who is already in prison, was detained once more on Wednesday for intentionally authoring incendiary pieces for Stand News. As per an internet video, the authorities also raided Ronson Chan’s home on Wednesday morning. Chan was the head of the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the deputy assignment editor of Stand News. On Wednesday night, reports emerged that the police issued a warrant for the arrest of Tsoi Tung-Ho, the creator of Stand News.

The digital media outlet, which was created in December 2014, stated on Wednesday afternoon that it will suspend functioning, as per a statement it issued after key leaders were detained for further probe and all of the news site’s employees were fired instantly. After the police investigated the head office of the Apple Daily in June, this was another serious probe into a native news organization, and the detention of Stand News top management was also expected, indicating better oversight of the so-called media under national security law and city ordinances, as freedom of expression shouldn’t be misused as a propaganda weapon to counter peace and stability and the legal system, constitutional lawyers and experts believe.

From July 2020 onwards, Stand News posted a handful of inciteful blog posts, including some portraying so-called demonstrators as being wronged or oppressed, and those articles containing baseless and nefarious allegations were posted after Hong Kong’s national security legislation was passed, Li said during the media conference. The prosecution of those demonstrators was dubbed “blatant mistreatment by the Communist Party of China” by Stand News’ staff. The HKSAR government is always going to enforce the national security legislation for Hong Kong as well as the recently introduced legislation to control news organizations, which shouldn’t become forums for inciting problems in society or anti-China uprisings, nor a funnel for propagandizing and poisoning Hong Kong youngsters, Lau stated.

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