HONG KONG, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong police have reiterated that they always respect the freedom of the press, speech and publication, saying an operation on Monday was conducted in accordance with the law to safeguard national security.
Ten people were arrested on Monday by officers of the national security department of the Hong Kong police for suspected collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security and conspiracy to defraud.
The police said the operation was conducted in accordance with the law to safeguard national security in Hong Kong and regardless of the identity or background of the suspects involved, officers enforced the law professionally.
The operation was targeted at the alleged offenders' unlawful acts, rather than a certain media organization, the police said.
During the operation, the police officers conducted searches at various locations to collect evidence against the illegal acts in accordance with the authorization of a search warrant granted by the court and displayed it multiple times to the media organization's personnel and legal representatives, the police said.
Officers on the spot were reminded of not going through news materials or disrupting the operation of the media organization during the evidence collection, the police said, stressing that process was conducted in the company of the media organization's personnel.
Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the national security department, said the police added more officers to shorten the search to merely six hours so that the normal operation of the media organization would not be affected.
Given high public attention on the operation, the police also allowed reporters from 15 media outlets to cover the operation in a short distance in a bid to improve the transparency of the law enforcement, chief superintendent of police public relations branch Kwok Ka-chuen said.