Biden Demands Beijing End Crackdown on Hong Kong Journalists
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. President Joe Biden demanded that Beijing end its crackdown on independent journalists in Hong Kong after news outlet Apple Daily ceased publishing this week under pressure from China.
“It is a sad day for media freedom in Hong Kong and around the world,” Biden said in a statement. “Through arrests, threats, and forcing through a national security law that penalizes free speech, Beijing has insisted on wielding its power to suppress independent media and silence dissenting views.”
Senior editors at the pro-democracy Apple Daily were arrested last week under the national security law. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam called the arrested a “preventive and deterrent effect,” alleging that the editors weren’t engaged in “normal journalistic work.”
Authorities also used the law to freeze company assets and block access to its accounts, forcing its closure.
“Beijing must stop targeting the independent press and release the journalists and media executives that have been detained,” Biden said. “The act of journalism is not a crime.”
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