Update: HK police arrest six people linked to Stand News following new charge against Apple Daily staff on inflammatory publications
Published: Dec 29, 2021 09:13 AM
Photo: screenshot of

Photo: screenshot of

The Hong Kong Police Force National Security Department arrested seven people on the suspicion of sedition on Wednesday, including six linked to an online news site and one from the secessionist tabloid Apple Daily. Over 200 police officers also searched the offices of Stand News and took away about 30 boxes of materials of evidence including computers and documents Wednesday noon. 

The six people who were found to be linked to Stand News and charged with printing and disseminating inflammatory publications include the secessionist singer Denise Ho, who is also a board member of the news site, and the former editor-in-chief Chung Pui-kuen. 

According to an online video, the police also searched the place where Ronson Chan, deputy assignment editor of Stand News and chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, lives on Wednesday morning. 

Former Apple Daily associate publisher Chan Pui-man, who is already in jail, and wife of Chung were also arrested again on Wednesday for allegedly being involved in writing inflammatory publications. 

The arrests came after prosecutors in Hong Kong added a new charge of printing and disseminating inflammatory publications on Tuesday to jailed Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai and six other people with the newspaper, which experts said will provide the public with a much clearer view of inflammatory publications. 

The six people include senior executives and former senior executives linked to the online media. They have all been arrested for allegedly violating the Crime Ordinance with seditious publication, according to local media reports. 

Stand News posted a video on its Facebook account on Wednesday morning showing the police raiding the place Chan lives with an order from the court, investigating on the charge of colluding and printing inflammatory publications. 

On Tuesday, the seven suspects from Apple Daily were charged of printing, publishing, distributing, displaying, or copying inflammatory publications from April 1, 2019 to June 24, 2021 in order to trigger hatred toward and contempt of Hong Kong's legal system and the Hong Kong regional government, provoke residents to attempt to change legal matters via illegal channels, and incite other people to use violence and violate the laws.

Legal experts said this might be the first time Apple Daily could be defied as a seditious publication, which will have certain social impact, giving the public a clearer view about inflammatory publications. 

Chung, editor-in-chief of Stand News, stepped down in late November. After his resignation, some experts said that it signaled the end of the news site given its role of being biased, distorting the facts and misleading the public especially during the social turmoil in 2019. 

Stand News previously published an article that openly advocated for "resistance" saying the armed resistance in Northern Ireland is not impossible to happen in Hong Kong, Ta Kung Pao reported in May, noting that Stand News also encouraged black-clad violence and rioting.

Observers and netizens hailed the arrests, some considered the arrest of Ho, who is considered as a treasonous traitor, as "the best Christmas present." Some said the people who have been arrested are the ones who colluded with the US to destabilize Hong Kong.

When the New York Times described the police's action as arrests of senior staff of "an outspoken pro-democracy news website," Nixie Lam, a member-elect to the 7th Legislative Council, said on Twitter on Wednesday that "pro-sedition" is the right description.

"It's been a long awaited move by many Hong Kong people. After Apple Daily closed down, many wondered when the biased and infamous Stand News will shut down," Lam told the Global Times on Wednesday.

The online site has been covering Hong Kong affairs in a biased way, instigating hatred and beautifying the Western-defined ideas like democracy, which is like its name in Chinese that means the news with the stance, such biased coverage has further divided Hong Kong society, she said.