(To watch the full media session with sign language interpretation, click here.)
Secretary for Security John Lee today said using journalism as a tool to endanger national security should be differentiated from normal journalistic work.
Police’s National Security Department conducted a search operation at a media company in Tseung Kwan O today and arrested five company directors on suspicion of collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to harm national security, contravening the National Security Law.
The arrestees are suspected of publishing print and online news articles calling on foreign countries to impose sanctions on Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Mr Lee said: “We are not talking about media work or journalists’ work. We are talking about a conspiracy in which the suspects have tried to make use of journalistic work to collude with a foreign country or external elements to impose sanctions or take hostile activities against Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China.”
He added that journalists working in Hong Kong must abide by its laws and urged them to keep a distance from those in the profession who commit unlawful acts.
“Normal journalistic work of course, takes place freely and lawfully in Hong Kong. And I do not envisage any professional journalist would be conspiring to do any act to endanger national security.
“The suspects have been arrested on strong evidence that they are conspiring to endanger national security.
“It is your choice whether you will regard them as part of you, who go about your journalistic work lawfully and properly.”