Jailed media mogul Jimmy Lai appeals to UN to intervene in Hong Kong cases

Lai’s counsel says he faces ‘the risk of spending the rest of his life in prison simply for speaking out’

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 11 April 2022 13:20
Comments

Apple Daily editors arrested under Hong Kong security law

Hong Kong activist Jimmy Lai’s lawyers have urged the United Nations to investigate the charges against him as “legal harassment” for speaking out.

Mr Lai, the founder of the pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, was arrested in August 2020 on suspicion of foreign collusion, becoming the most high-profile figure detained under the controversial national security law.

The law was enacted in June 2020 to punish terrorism, collusion with foreign forces, subversion and secession with possible life imprisonment.

His legal team said in a statement said Mr Lai is serving 20 months in prison while his assets have been frozen. He also faces four separate criminal cases relating to and joining various pro-democracy protests.

Mr Lai faces “the risk of spending the rest of his life in prison simply for speaking out, and for seeking to defend freedom of the press, democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong”, his counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher said.

Ms Gallagher said that an appeal had been filed with the United Nations special rapporteurs for freedom of opinion and expression, counter-terrorism and human rights, rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and human rights defenders.

The powers of the UN special rapporteurs are however limited mainly to seeking information from government agencies and possible ways to end violations.

Meanwhile, crackdown on journalists continued in Hong Kong with the arrest of senior journalist Allan Au Ka-lun on Monday.

Mr Au, 54, is a teaching consultant who has worked for a number of Hong Kong media outlets, including TVB and RTHK.

He had also written for pro-democracy platform Stand News, which shut down last year after police raids and staff arrests.

The police said he had been arrested for “conspiracy to publish seditious publication” and was being detained for further investigation.

“We urge the police to explain the case as soon as possible, and at the same time request the government to protect the freedom of the press and speech enjoyed by Hong Kong citizens in accordance with the Basic Law,” the Hong Kong Journalists Association said in a statement.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in