The Hong Kong government is expanding its use of a long-dormant sedition law in what some lawyers and democracy advocates say is intensifying a squeeze on press freedom.

Evidence of the renewed reliance on the sedition legislation came in late December when China-ruled Hong Kong targeted two media outlets. On Dec. 29, about 200 police raided the office of online outlet Stand News and arrested seven people, charging two editors with conspiracy to publish "seditious publications."

Authorities have not fully detailed what led to the charges. But pro-Beijing media outlets Ta Kung Pao and DotDotNews listed specific Stand News articles that they deemed seditious, including interviews with local democracy activists and opposition figures — topics that until recently were not out of the ordinary in Hong Kong.