One Canadian is in custody after Hong Kong police raided an online pro-democracy news organization.
Police have formally charged two people working for Stand News with sedition, a day after the outlet said it would cease operations following a police raid on its office and seven arrests.
National security police say they’ve charged two men, reportedly both editors at the news outlet, with conspiracy to publish a seditious publication.
The five other arrestees are being detained for questioning and include Hong Kong-born-Canadian pop singer Denise Ho, who was a member of the outlet’s board.
Jenny Kwan, the New Democrat MP for Vancouver-East, says the arrests show freedoms and human rights in the region are being ignored by the ruling Communist party.
Kwan says the One Country-Two System created by Xiaoping Deng is being demolished and China has violated the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty that was registered in the United Nations.
The People’s Republic of China embassy did not immediately return a request for comment.
The arrests and raid on the media organizations comes as authorities crack down on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
Kwan, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, said she is heartbroken by the turn of events.
“With the news of the recent search of Stand News’ office and the arrest of its acting editor-in-chief Shiu-tung Lam, former editor-in-chief Pui-kuen Chung, former board members Margaret Ng, Denise Wan-see Ho, Tai-chi Chow and Christine Meng-sang Fang, it clearly illustrates that Hong Kong has turned into a police state,” she said.
Kwan added that she expects the Canadian consulate to be doing its best to help Ho.
Mélanie Joly, Canada’s foreign affairs minister, said in a series of tweets Wednesday that Canada’s “consular officials are engaged and stand ready to provide assistance on the ground.”
“We are deeply concerned by the arrests in Hong Kong of current and former board and staff members from Stand News, including Canadian citizen and activist Denise Ho,” she tweeted in part.
“We are monitoring the situation very closely.”