March 5, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

US and UK call for release of Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai |  outside

US and UK call for release of Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai | outside

The US and UK call for the release of publisher Jimmy Lai. The prominent Hong Kong democracy activist is scheduled to stand trial from Monday on charges of “committing crimes against national security.” Washington and London described the operation as “politically motivated.”

The 76-year-old Lai, a critic of China, has been detained since 2020 and could face life in prison for violating a controversial security law imposed by Beijing on the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong. Lai, the former owner of the defunct Apple Daily newspaper in Hong Kong, is allegedly guilty of collusion with foreign powers.

“As a prominent and outspoken journalist and publisher, Jimmy Leigh has become the target of action aimed at restricting his freedom of expression and association,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

Cameron met the son of well-known dissident Sebastian Ley in London last Tuesday. China responded angrily, accusing the UK of having “evil intentions” towards the former British colony.

Jimmy Lai in 2021. © Agence France-Presse

Controversial national security law

The United States also demands Lai’s immediate release. A US State Department spokesman said in a statement: “The United States condemns the prosecution of pro-democracy activist and media mogul Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong under the national security law imposed by China.” Since China introduced the security law, the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been suppressed.

The European Union and the United Nations also expressed concern about the prosecution of Lai, a British citizen. Beijing rejected this criticism, describing it as slander and interference.

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Jimmy Lai in 2020
Jimmy Lai in 2020 © Agence France-Presse

Protester Alexandra Wong, also known as
Protester Alexandra Wong, also known as “Grandma Wong”, calls for the release of Jimmy Lai. © National Police Agency / Environmental Protection Agency