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Two former and current editors of Hong Kong Immigration Newspaper charged with conspiracy to publish propaganda

Steve Lee Steve Lee, Senior Inspector General of the National Security Agency, Hong Kong Police Department, speaks during a press conference on the 29th. © AFP=News1

The former and current editors of Stand News, an anti-Chinese online media outlet arrested by Hong Kong authorities, were charged with conspiracy to publish propaganda on the 30th, AFP news agency reported.

According to the report, the Hong Kong Police Security Law Investigation Team released a statement on the same day and said, “We have charged a 34-year-old man and a 52-year-old man and an online media company for publishing propaganda, respectively.”

According to court documents, the man accused was acting editor-in-chief Patrick Lam and former editor-in-chief Chung Pui Khun, and Best Pencil Limited, the parent company of Ipji Shimbun, AFP said.

Earlier on the previous day (29th), the Hong Kong police mobilized about 200 manpower and arrested 7 former and current executives (3 males and 4 females), including acting editor-in-chief Lam and former editor-in-chief Jeong Jeong.

In addition, they raided the office of Ipji Newspaper, frozen HK$61 million (about 9.3 billion won) of assets, and confiscated computers, telephones, and press materials.

In this regard, the international community is also raising concerns. In a statement in the name of Secretary of State Tony Blincoln, the U.S. Department of State urges the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to “stop targeting the free and independent press of Hong Kong and to immediately release all journalists and media officers who have been unfairly detained and charged”. said.

However, the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong said in a statement that it was “an act of justice” and said, “It is a matter of ‘the wicked get what they deserve’ and has nothing to do with freedom of the press.”

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who is pro-China, said the foreign government’s request for release by the US State Department was “a violation of the rule of law,” Reuters reported. He added, “The police raids and arrests of the newspapers are for law enforcement and not the media industry.”

Founded in 2014 when the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution took place, Ipji Newspaper has enjoyed popularity as an online media representing the democratic camp.

Meanwhile, China has tightened its control over Hong Kong since the massive pro-democracy protests in 2019 against the extradition bill (extradition law), and the local media is also getting stronger, AFP reported.

sabi@news1.kr

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