Hong Kong today in thirteen Tweets:-
Reuters' James Pomfret at 9:03am: "Breaking: ongoing police raid on [Hong Kong']s respected and widely followed [Stand News]. Police have sealed off its 14/f bureau and searching the offices given an “ongoing operation”. This is another major blow to press freedom under the [national security law] security crackdown just before year end".
Pomfret again, this time at 9:11am: "When asked for details of the raid and the arrests [of six people associated with Stand News,] a police liaison officer on the 14f repeatedly said he’s not clear what’s happening, before forcing all reporters to leave. “Maybe you can see the news”he said. @StandNewsHK #JournalismIsNotACrime"
Washington Post Hong Kong and Southeast Asia bureau chief Shibani Mahtani at 9:59am: "And so the year ends as it started, with more pre-dawn raids and arrests designed to invoke an absolute sense of hopelessness in Hong Kong. The new year has become something not to be celebrated; instead we brace for what comes next..."
Independent photographer-journalist Laurel Chor at 10:02am: "Will endless retweeting make people pay attention? Make them understand the severity and importance of what’s happening? Does public outrage, at home or abroad, make a difference for [Hong Kong], or is [Hong Kong] now just a cautionary tale? I don’t know. But I also don’t know what else to do."
AFP's Xinqi Su at 10:11am: "This is the first national security police operation against a news outlet wielding the allegation of “seditious publications” under the Crimes Ordinance from colonial era. When [Apple Daily] was raided [in August of last year] it was #NSL’s “collusion with foreign forces” and [a] sedition charge was only added [against it yesterday]."
Hong Kong barrister Senia Ng at 10:14am: "[The National Security Law (NSL)] was a piece of law added into [Hong Kong] via Annex III of the Basic Law. There were at least two possible routes: (1) the operation of the NSL would be a separate regime, and existing criminal laws would remain unaffected; (2) NSL would gradually merge with existing laws."
Ng's follow up Tweet a few seconds later: "Which of these routes would be taken was unclear at the time of implementation; it was not expressly stated. Now, it seems pretty clear which pathway we're on"...
Activist-author Kong Tsung-gan at 1:10pm: "Former Apple Daily exec Chan Pui-man, already remanded in custody pending trial on NSL charges, was also arrested [again] this morning, in prison. She’s suspected of writing a “seditious” article published in @StandNewsHK. She’s also the wife of Stand News’ former editor-in-chief[, Chung Pui-kuen.]"
A Tweet from yours truly at 2:01pm: "I stand the law’s good servant but the people’s first. For the law must serve the people, not the people the law." A good time to remember the April 2021 statement of Margaret Ng, one of today's Stand News arrestees, and the existence of Citizen News."
Activist Heiky Kwan at 2:51pm: "[The Hong Kong Government] has been targeting the media, making arrests/ shutting down publications that resist pro-Beijing influences & are fearless in posting articles critical of the govt. After Apple Daily [and] RTHK, @StandNewsHK was next. They were raided today. #WhatsHappeningInHongKong".
AFP News Agency at 7:20pm: "#UPDATE Hong Kong pro-democracy media outlet Stand News said Wednesday it will close after a police raid and arrests of seven current and former staff members, in the latest blow to the city's rapidly-shrinking press freedoms".
Documentary director-photographer Arman Dzidzovic at 9:22pm: "I want to highlight @StandNewsHK['s] iconic report on the [July 21st, 2019] Yuen Long attack because it makes it clear how far [Hong Kong] press freedoms have fallen, the reporter filming [Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam] is in jail, Stand News is gone, and this livestream is about to be deleted from their website forever".
Citizen News' Alvin Lum at 10:36pm: "From 11pm onwards, @StandNewsHK's website and social media will official close. (Twitter handles seem to be the first to go down)".
And, actually, Stand News' Twitter account vanished even before 11pm came along. :(