Hong Kong police have arrested six people from an independent news website for “conspiracy to publish seditious publications”.
Both current and former staff members of Stand News were among those targeted. More than 200 police officers were also sent to raid the publication’s office.
Police said in a statement that they were authorised to “search and seize relevant journalistic materials”.
Those arrested – three men and three women – are aged between 34 and 73 years old. They include the former and acting chief editors of Stand News Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, as well as pop star turned democracy icon Denise Ho, who was a former board member.
During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon Chief Secretary of police John Lee said that he supported the police operation against the news outlet and there would be “zero tolerance of behaviour that threatens national security”.
“Making use of media work as a tool to pursue their political purpose or other interests contravenes the law, particularly offences that endanger national security,” he said. “They are the evil elements that damage press freedom.”