Citizen News, a Hong Kong-based independent online news outlet, announced on Sunday that it will halt operations on Tuesday because of a deteriorating media environment in the Chinese-governed city and to preserve the safety of its personnel.

Citizen News was shut down following a police raid on pro-democracy Stand News in which several staff members were jailed under China's national security law, which was implemented in 2020 to quell dissent and rallies in the city.

Stand News was shuttered Wednesday after national security authorities stormed its headquarters, arrested seven people involved with the publication, and froze the company's assets worth approximately 61 million Hong Kong dollars ($7.7 million).

The arrests were made in connection with various "seditious" articles published by the news outlet between July 2020 and November 2021, according to police.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, defended the raid, claiming it was unrelated to what they wrote.

The closure of Apple Daily and Stand News left Citizen News as Hong Kong's biggest independent news outlet.

Citizen News announced the decision on social media, claiming that it was done to ensure everyone's safety.

Citizen News claimed in quotes by several news agencies that "major changes in our society, as well as a deteriorating media atmosphere, have made it difficult for us to carry out our role without concern."

Citizen News said it made the decision with a "heavy heart," adding the news organization was founded in 2017 by veteran journalists dedicated to serving the public and the "greater public good" through their journalism.

When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese administration in 1997, it did so with the assurance that broad individual rights, including the freedom of the press, would be safeguarded.

However, pro-democracy activists and human rights organizations claim that liberties have been curtailed, particularly since Beijing imposed a national security legislation on Hong Kong in 2020.

The authorities in Hong Kong deny these allegations, and the city's government also denies targeting the media.

Before Citizen News announced its closure on Saturday, Chinese state media issued a statement blaming Western countries for "slandering Hong Kong's press freedom" in the aftermath of the Stand News arrests.

After a national security raid on its headquarters last year, the enormously popular Apple Daily was forced to close.

Jimmy Lai, the organization's founder and one of Hong Kong's most outspoken pro-democracy activists, is currently incarcerated on a number of crimes. Other senior editors are also being investigated.