A police officer collects a box of evidence after a search at the office of Stand News after six people were arrested “for conspiracy to publish seditious publication,” according to Hong Kong’s Police National Security Department, in Hong Kong, China, December 29, 2021. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

CitizenNews, a crowd-funded website established in 2017 by Hong Kong journalists, announced on Sunday that it will shut down by Tuesday.

“Regrettably, the rapid changes in society and worsening environment for media make us unable to achieve our goal fearlessly. Amid this crisis, we have to first make sure everyone on the boat is safe,” CitizenNews said in a statement.

The site is one of Hong Kong’s most popular news outlets and has about 800,000 followers on social-media platforms, according to the Agence France-Presse. Some journalists from other outlets shuttered by the government in 2021 had moved to CitizenNews.

The closure comes after Hong Kong police raided the headquarters of the pro-democracy Stand News on Wednesday and arrested six current and former editors and board members of that publication. The Hong Kong Journalists Association protested that raid.

“The Hong Kong Journalists Association is deeply concerned that the police have repeatedly arrested senior members of the media and searched the offices of news organizations containing large quantities of journalistic materials within a year,” the association said in a statement.

The police crackdown on news outlets such as Stand News and Apple Daily comes after China passed a so-called national-security law that bans actions viewed as damaging to China. The law applies to every person no matter where they live, meaning that a U.S. citizen who purportedly breaks that law while remaining in the U.S. could be tried if they enter Hong Kong.

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