Published: 16:17, December 30, 2021 | Updated: 09:56, December 31, 2021
HKSAR govt deplores West's double standards
By Wang Zhan

This photo dated Oct 28, 2014 shows the Central Government Offices at Tamar, Hong Kong. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government on Thursday deplored the biased and erroneous remarks by governments, media and organizations of the United States and western countries on the Hong Kong police's law enforcement actions against an online media outlet. 

In a statement issued on Thursday afternoon, a government spokesman said the law enforcement actions against Stand News are strictly according to the law and based on evidence.

A government spokesman said that the law enforcement actions taken by the police against Stand News are strictly according to the law and based on evidence

“We express our deep regret regarding the governments, media and organizations of the United States and western countries in respect of their attempt to twist facts and slandering remarks on the enforcement actions taken in accordance with the law,” the spokesman said.

“Such acts constitute gross interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, and reflect their double standards,” he added.

The police on Wednesday arrested seven people, including six senior or former senior staff of the Stand News, for allegedly conspiring to publish seditious publication, an offense under the Crimes Ordinance.

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The spokesman said the actions taken by the police were targeting “illegal acts of those arrestees, and have nothing to do with freedom of the press and of publication.”

“Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are not absolute. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, such freedoms can be restricted for reasons including protection of national security,” the spokesman said.

“We reiterate that no one is above the law,” he added.

The spokesman reiterated that freedom of speech and freedom of the press are protected under the National Security Law, the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, and the Basic Law.

“In the past year, people's lives have resumed as normal, and the national security risk has subsided. These achievements are hard to come by. We will continue to guard against any acts endangering national security, and will bring any person or entity violating the law to justice regardless of background,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in the HKSAR firmly rejected the irresponsible statements and remarks of the US State Department, the Canadian and Australian foreign ministers, the British Minister of State for Asia, some politicians of the US and a few other Western countries, and the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner on the arrests.

The spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the US and some other Western countries pretend to care about freedom of the press in Hong Kong, but turn a blind eye on their own bad record.

The spokesperson pointed out that, during the protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in the US in 2020, a large number of journalists reporting the truth were attacked or arrested by the American police.

“Some politicians in the US and some other Western countries used freedom of the press as a political tool in a selective way. They smear and attack other countries under the guise of ‘the press freedom’ while restricting legitimate interview activities and suppressing the voice of justice,” the spokesperson said.

“That is typical hegemony and double standard, and how could they judge the freedom of the press in Hong Kong with condescension?” the spokesperson added.

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The spokesperson said that external forces repeatedly smeared Hong Kong’s judicial justice and freedom of the press under the pretext of “standing with Hong Kong”.

“They used the so-called ‘freedom’ as a shield to embolden the anti-China forces in Hong Kong, in an attempt to seek extra-legal privileges for them so that they could continue to disrupt Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Such political manipulation is doomed to fail,” the spokesperson said.