US criticizes arrest of veteran Hong Kong journalist on sedition charges

Washington, Apr 12 (EFE).- The United States has criticized the arrest of a veteran Hong Kong journalist on sedition charges.

“We call on the Hong Kong government to free Allan Au and all others imprisoned for exercising their fundamental freedoms. Journalism is not a crime,” US State Department spokesperson Ned Price tweeted.

The spokesperson said Hong Kong’s position as a free global financial center depended on the free flow of information and opinions.

The Hong Kong government announced Monday that police had arrested a 54-year-old journalist for conspiring to publish alleged seditious material.

The local media identified the arrested man as Au.

The media, quoting unnamed sources, said the articles the journalist had written for the now-defunct Stand News had “incited hatred towards the government.”

In December last year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said that China had the most jailed journalists for the third consecutive year.

The number of jailed journalists saw a steep hike as several reporters were arrested in Hong Kong after the government enacted a controversial national security law. EFE


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