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Hong Kong pro-democracy website closes after police raid on its office

A pro-democracy website in Hong Kong is shutting down in the wake of a police raid on its office. 

Stand News' office was raided by police on Wednesday, and six current and former staff and board members were arrested, The Associated Press reports. Among those arrested was singer Denise Ho, who served on the board. The news website announced on Facebook it would end operations and dismiss all of its employees, according to CNN

"Stand News' editorial policy was to be independent and committed to safeguarding Hong Kong's core values of democracy, human rights, freedom, the rule of law and justice," an announcement from Stand News said, per The New York Times. "Thank you, readers, for your continued support."

This comes after the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily announced in June it would also close amid an ongoing crackdown following a new national security law implemented in 2020. According to CNN, Hong Kong police accused Stand News of publishing "seditious" articles between July 2020 and November 2021. 

Hong Kong Watch CEO Benedict Rogers told The Associated Press the arrests were "nothing short of an all-out assault on the freedom of the press in Hong Kong," adding, "When a free press guaranteed by Hong Kong's Basic Law is labeled 'seditious,' it is a symbol of the speed at which this once great, open, international city has descended into little more than a police state."