Blinken speaks out after Hong Kong’s pro-democracy media company shut down

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Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken used social media to voice concerns after a pro-democracy media company in Hong Kong was raided and shut down.

“Deeply concerned about the closure of Stand News and the related arrests in Hong Kong,” Blinken said on Twitter on Wednesday. “A confident government that is not afraid of the truth welcomes a free press. We call on the Hong Kong authorities to stop the attacks on the independent media and to release those wrongly detained. “

HONG KONG POLICE PURPOSE SHUT DOWN ONE OF THE CITY’S LAST PRO-DEMOCRACY NEWS PAGES

State Secretary Antony Blinken.  (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, Pool).

State Secretary Antony Blinken. (AP Photo / Alex Brandon, Pool).
(AP photo / Alex Brandon, pool)

Blinken’s comments come after a national security police raid on Stand News, a pro-democracy media company based in Hong Kong, which arrested seven people linked to the publication on Wednesday.

Steve Li Kwai-wah, the chief superintendent of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Department, said Wednesday that the publication has been closed after “inflammatory” articles were published last year.

The shutdown comes after press freedom was eroded in Hong Kong after China passed a national security law on the independent country last year, raising concerns over the state of press freedom in what was once called “Asia’s metropolis.”

People queue outside a polling station in Hong Kong to cast their vote.  (AP Photo / Vincent Yu)

People queue outside a polling station in Hong Kong to cast their vote. (AP Photo / Vincent Yu)

“The Hong Kong Journalists Association is deeply concerned that within a year the police repeatedly arrested senior media officials and raided the offices of news organizations with large amounts of journalistic material,” the Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement on Wednesday, pleading the government “to protect the freedom of the press in the sense of the Basic Law”.

However, Hong Kong authorities defended the raid as necessary, arguing that some media outlets were “bad apples” falsely claiming to be journalistic media.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Photo by Andrew Harnik / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW HARNIK / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)
(ANDREW HARNIK / POOL / AFP)

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“Anyone who tries to use media relations as a tool to pursue their political intentions or other interests is breaking the law, especially crimes that endanger national security,” said Hong Kong Prime Minister John Lee on Wednesday. “They are the evil elements that harm freedom of the press. Professional media workers should recognize that these are the bad apples that abuse their position by simply wearing the wrong coat of media workers. “

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