Hong Kong news site shuts down as pro-Beijing lawmakers sworn in

Hong Kong: Hong Kong welcomed a new batch of pro-Beijing lawmakers in its Legislative Council on Monday who were chosen in an election without opposition candidates, as the editors of one of the city's last remaining pro-democracy news outlets announced its closure.

They are the latest in a series of events in the past year in which the local government has been reshaping Hong Kong, with Beijing's backing, in an effort to stamp out dissent in a city once renowned for its freedoms of expression.

The founders of news outlet Citizen News said Monday that although they have not been contacted by the Hong Kong national security police, the deteriorating media freedoms in the financial hub make it unclear whether their reporting violates the law. They said the news site will stop publishing on Tuesday.

We all love this place, deeply. Regrettably, what was ahead of us is not just pouring rains or blowing winds, but hurricanes and tsunamis, Citizen News said in a statement on Sunday, when it originally announced the closure. Citizen News is the third news outlet to close in recent months, following pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily and online site Stand News.

The outlet was founded in 2017 by a group of veteran journalists. While small, it focused on political news and analysis pieces, as well as investigations.

The space for doing those types of stories has shrunk since China's central legislature imposed a sweeping National Security Law in Hong Kong in 2019 following massive anti-government protests. As authorities stepped up arrests of political activists, civil rights groups and unions disbanded, and some activists fled.

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