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Hong Kong's pro-democracy media outlet Citizen News shuts down over safety fears

ANI | Updated: Jan 03, 2022 01:40 IST


Hong Kong, January 3 (ANI): The independent Hong Kong news site Citizen News has announced that it will shut down to "ensure the safety of everyone", days after the city's national security police raided another independent online news outlet over allegations of sedition.

On late Sunday, the media outlet said that it will be shutting down on Tuesday, citing the deteriorating media environment in the city and the need to protect its staff, CNN reported.

"Unfortunately, the major changes in our society in the last two years, and the deteriorating media environment, have made it impossible for us to realize our mission without worries," the news outlet announced the decision on Facebook, saying it was made to protect the safety of everyone involved.

"At the centre of a brewing storm, we found ourself in a critical situation. In the face of a crisis, we must ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who are on board," the Facebook post cited by CNN added.

According to CNN, Citizen News was the largest remaining independent news outlet in Hong Kong following the shuttering of Apple Daily in June and Stand News last Wednesday.

On December 29 2021, the arrests and raid on the offices of the now-defunct news outlet Stand News attracted condemnation from the United Nations, the European Union as well as other countries including the US, Germany and Canada.

7-year-old pro-democracy digital news outlet saw seven people connected to it arrested by national security police over suspected conspiracy to publish seditious materials, including its top editor, former editor-in-chief, his wife, as well as four former directors, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported.

In recent months, crackdowns against news organisations and pro-democracy activists have intensified. In June 2021, Apple Daily witnessed similar actions by authorities. It was later shut down.

Just after the raid on the newsroom of Apple Daily, Stand News removed all opinion pieces from their website in June. It also halted donations as six of the board's eight members stepped down. (ANI)

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