National security police arrested at least six people and raided the offices of online media outlet Stand News on Wednesday morning, as part of an investigation into an alleged conspiracy to publish seditious materials.
The police said the suspects are three men and three women, aged 34 to 73, but did not identify them.
RTHK understands they are the former and acting editors-in-chief of Stand News, Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, as well as four former board members – singer Denise Ho, barrister Margaret Ng, Christine Fang and Chow Tat-chi.
Officers took away boxes of information and computers from the Kwun Tong offices of Stand News, using a court warrant issued under Article 43 of the national security law which allows officers to seize journalistic materials.
The arrestees’ homes were also searched, while officers also went to the current and former homes of deputy assignment editor Ronson Chan.
He told reporters he wasn’t arrested, but officers had seized a number of his electronic devices, a bank book and an ATM card.
In a statement, the police say those arrested are suspected to have acted in contravention of sections 9 and 10 of the colonial-era Crimes Ordinance, in allegedly conspiring to publish seditious materials. They say more than 200 officers took part in the operation.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said it's deeply concerned about the arrests, noting that the police have repeatedly arrested senior members of media organisations and searched their offices this year.
It urged the government to protect press freedom in accordance with the Basic Law.
Last updated: 2021-12-29 HKT 13:58