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Several Republican political leaders have spoken out against the Hong Kong police for arresting seven current and former employees of one of the city’s last pro-democracy newspapers and raiding their headquarters.
Prominent Republican leaders torched the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the arrests and raid, which were carried out on Wednesday under the Communist Party’s 2020 National Security Act.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said in an email to Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the actions of the Hong Kong police reflected the Communist Party’s fear of the free press.
HONG KONG POLICE FORCES CLOSURE OF ONE OF THE LATEST PRO-DEMOCRACY NEWS SITES IN THE CITY
“What the Chinese Communist Party fears most is that the world will know the truth about its crimes,” Cotton wrote. “This Orwellian crackdown on non-party sanctioned outlets shows just how fearful they really are.”
“The CCP’s continued assault on Hong Kong’s freedom is reprehensible,” Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo told Fox News Digital. “The free press has played a vital role in Hong Kong’s continued struggle for freedom and these arrests are a shameful reminder of Beijing’s quest for power. I will continue to fight to hold the CCP to account.
Stand News began in 2014 as a nonprofit and cut its teeth by covering pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019.
The seven people taken into custody on Wednesday were arrested on suspicion of conspiring to publish “seditious material” and inciting hatred towards the government, police said. Authorities also froze a total of HK $ 61 million in assets.
Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Spoke out on the Hong Kong government’s suppression of free speech, saying in an email Wednesday that “Communist China will arrest, harass and threaten anyone who dares to say the truth”.
“We must support democracy, Hong Kong and those who struggle to preserve the freedoms of the Chinese Communist Party,” Blackburn continued.
Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said the arrests and the raid were another reason to hold China accountable.
“China has created a Communist watchdog state, is committing genocide against Uyghurs and has unleashed COVID around the world,” Haley said in a statement Wednesday to Fox News. “This crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong is yet another reason we must never stop calling them out and keeping our feet on the fire.”
The outlet announced that it would cease operations after the raid.
“The editorial policy of Stand News was to be independent and committed to protecting Hong Kong’s core values of democracy, human rights, liberty, the rule of law and justice,” Stand said. News in a statement, as reported by the Hong Kong Free Press. “Thank you, readers, for your continued support. “
The Chinese Communist Party enacted a National Security Law in June 2020 aimed at cracking down on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
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Since the law was implemented, Hong Kong officials have started cracking down on organizations they see as a threat to the government.
Authorities used the law to arrest five editors of Apple Daily, a media outlet that has long championed democracy in Hong Kong, accusing the outlet of playing a “crucial role” in what they called a conspiracy with foreign countries to impose sanctions on China and Hong Kong. Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence after being convicted of playing a role in the 2019 protests.
Fox News’ Cortney O’Brien contributed reporting.