“Journalism is not sedition, but seditious acts and activities and inciting other people through other acts and activities could not be condoned under the guise of news reporting,” Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong leader, told a news conference. “It should be very clear what is reporting of news, and what is seditious acts or activities to undermine national security.”

Two former editors from a Hong Kong online pro-democracy news outlet were charged with sedition and denied bail Thursday, a day after one of the last openly critical voices in the city said it would cease operations following a police raid on its office and seven arrests, reports the AP.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam defended the raid on Stand News amid a wider crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city, telling reporters that “inciting other people … could not be condoned under the guise of news reporting.”

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Hong Kong authorities to release the detainees, and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Melanie Joly said her country was deeply concerned about the arrests, which included singer Denise Ho, a Canadian citizen and activist.

According to a charge sheet, national security police filed one count each of conspiracy to publish a seditious publication against Chung Pui-kuen and Patrick Lam, former editors at Stand News. Police also said they would prosecute the company for sedition.

The cases were brought to West Kowloon court on Thursday, police said in a statement. Lam was not present in court because he was in the hospital. Both were denied bail.

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