Press Releases in Hong Kong

CS: Press freedom can’t be tool against national security

HONG KONG – Chief Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu on Wednesday said the Hong Kong authorities will take rigorous action against those endangering national security in the name of press freedom.

Speaking at a sideline of an event, Lee threw his support behind the arrests of seven people tied to an online media company over an alleged conspiracy to publish seditious publications.

Chief Secretary John Lee said anyone who commits a criminal offense is liable for the legal consequences even if he or she is no longer related to the organization and the police will go after criminal activities in accordance with the law after gathering evidence

“Anybody who attempts to make use of media work as a tool to pursue their political purpose or other interests (which) contravene the law, particularly offenses that endanger national security, they are the evil elements that damage press freedom,” Lee said.

READ MORE: Seven held in HK over seditious publication

Among those arrested were senior staff members or former senior staff members of Stand News, including the company’s acting chief editor Patrick Lam Shiu-tung, its former board members and barrister Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee and Cantopop star Denise Ho Wan-see.

The media outlet, on Wednesday, announced that it will disband immediately with its employees all dismissed. In a post on its social media page, the media company said that all its websites and social media are suspended immediately and will be removed in a few days.

ALSO READ: HK political leaders back arrest of 7 over seditious publication

Lee said anyone who commits a criminal offense is liable for the legal consequences even if he or she is no longer related to the organization and the police will go after criminal activities in accordance with the law after gathering evidence.  

Lee said professional journalists should hold a firm stance against such individuals who abuse and damage press freedom.

"Professional media workers should recognize that these are the bad apples who are abusing their position, simply by wearing a false coat of media worker," he said.