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British citizen Jimmy Lai approaches 1,000 days in Hong Kong prison

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The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) attended a panel discussion in London featuring Sebastien Lai, son of Jimmy Lai; Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, lead international lawyer for Jimmy Lai and Sebastien Lai; Baroness Helena Kennedy KC; and Lord Chris Patten of Barnes. During the discussion days ahead of Jimmy Lai's 1000th day behind bars in Hong Kong, Sebastien Lai said, "Dad is a man who was willing and is still is willing to give everything he has to stand up for freedom."

At Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, the CFHK Foundation met a Superintendent at Police Scotland and facilitated a meeting between police and Hongkongers to discuss threats they have faced since relocating to Scotland. The CFHK Foundation also met with several Members of the Scottish Parliament to discuss the case of Jimmy Lai, Chinese interference in Scottish politics and civil society, and the risk posed by Confucius Institutes.

Carmen Lau, International Advocacy and Program Associate of the Hong Kong Democracy Council, authored this week’s ‘Flame of Freedom’ blog, urging United Nations member states to vote against China having a seat on the Human Rights Council due to its egregious human rights violations.

Hong Kong

In a threatening overstep by Beijing, the Chinese Communist Party is requiring every consulate in Hong Kong to provide detailed personal data on all consulate staff by the 18th of October.

Beijing urged Hong Kong officials to continue to “rigorously enforce” the National Security Law against “anti-China elements” and “hostile foreign forces” in Hong Kong. With thousands of people already arrested and hundreds of them in jail on political charges, one wonders just how broad and deep Beijing thinks the discontent runs. Does this sort of language signal a forever crackdown?

A Hong Kong judge sentenced a young Hongkonger to two-and-a-half years in jail for taking part in the 2019 protests as a 16-year-old, rather than granting her custodial alternatives that are common for young “offenders.”

The Hong Kong Labour and Welfare Bureau requested over 100 schools and institutions to ensure their key personnel “involved in the management, operation or delivery” of Continuing Education Fund courses “acquire a correct understanding” of the National Security Law.

Jimmy Lai

Melbourne neon artist Steven Cole set up a neon display of British citizen Jimmy Lai in Sydney, Australia. The artwork honouring Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jimmy Lai will remain on display in Sydney’s central business district until the Oslo-based prize committee announces this year’s winner next month.

UK-China Relations

The British Foreign Office released its latest six-monthly report on Hong Kong, noting that the Beijing-imposed National Security Law in Hong Kong extends beyond legitimate security measures. Britain called out China’s “state of ongoing non-compliance” with the Sino-British Joint Declaration, an international treaty lodged at the United Nations. The report cites Jimmy Lai, the trial of the Hong Kong 47, and the bounties for the arrests of the Hong Kong Eight as evidence of the continued deterioration of the rule of law.

Susan Lapworth, chief executive of Britain’s Office for Students, said the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institutes in British universities could face consequences under the Freedom of Speech Act should they try to stifle freedom of speech.

As British citizen Jimmy Lai approaches 1,000 days behind bars in a city where business is not as usual, the U.K. government appointed Lewis Neal to be Britain’s new trade czar for China and Hong Kong.

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