FCC Statement on Stand News Raid and Arrests
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is deeply concerned over the arrests of six journalists and individuals associated with Stand News, including former directors.
More than 200 officers raided the newsroom of the online news outlet on Wednesday morning. The FCC notes that Ronson Chan, chair of the Hong Kong Journalists Association was also taken in for questioning during the raid. He was subsequently released.
These actions are a further blow to press freedom in Hong Kong and will continue to chill the media environment in the city following a difficult year for the city’s news outlets.
The FCC notes that its press freedom survey of correspondent and journalist members released in November found an overall deterioration of working conditions for journalists in Hong Kong, including 71% of respondents saying they were either slightly concerned or very concerned about the possibility of arrest or prosecution due to their reporting or from writing opinion articles.
While the FCC is not commenting on the legality of today’s actions, the club urges authorities to respect press freedom, protected under the Basic Law and vital to the maintenance of Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre.
The six persons arrested are the former chief editor of Stand News, Chung Pui-kuen, acting editor-in-chief, Lam Shiu-tung, and former directors, Denise Ho, Margaret Ng, Christine Fang, and Chow Tat-chi.