SHANGHAI (Reuters) – The police raid on Hong Kong’s media organization Stand News this week was “completely legal and flawless,” a spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Britain said, responding to the foreign critics of this decision.
The embassy spokesperson was responding to comments from Amanda Milling, UK Minister of State for Asia, who said on Twitter that the actions “further erode freedom of speech in Hong Kong.”
“The rights and interests of Hong Kong residents, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, are protected according to law,” the Chinese embassy said Thursday.
“The Chinese side once again urges the United Kingdom to right its wrongs and to stop interfering in any form whatsoever in the affairs of Hong Kong, which are the internal affairs of China,” he added. spokesperson.
Two former Stand News editors were charged with conspiring to publish seditious material and were denied bail by a court on Thursday, a day after a police raid on the pro-democracy media organization which caused its closure.
Political cartoons about world leaders
About 200 agents raided the online publication’s office, froze its assets and arrested seven current and former editors and former board members on Wednesday.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China and Hong Kong of silencing independent media and called on authorities to immediately release the arrested Stand News staff.
But the official Communist Party newspaper, the People’s Daily, said in an editorial Friday that “freedom of the press” was being used as an excuse to sow “anti-China chaos” in Hong Kong. He accused foreign politicians of “recklessly discrediting” the Hong Kong police.
“Under the mantle of a media organization, Stand News is essentially a political organization through and through,” he said.
“Freedom has a result, and violations of the law must be punished.”
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Michael Perry)
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