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British Parliamentary Report on Hong Kong’s Media Freedoms and Jimmy Lai Takes Aim at HK Govt

Committee News

The British Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong launched a report, in which the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) provided oral and written evidence, examining the devastating impact of Hong Kong’s National Security Law on Hong Kong’s media freedoms and the case of Jimmy Lai. At the report launch event in Parliament, Jimmy Lai’s son Sebastien Lai said, “By the UK government not standing up for Hong Kong and these freedoms and my father, they are accepting all the bad things happening in Hong Kong without defending the values that are important to the UK and Hong Kong.”

The Hong Kong authorities “firmly rejected” the APPG on Hong Kong’s new report, claiming that Hong Kong’s media landscape is “as vibrant as ever” and citing how Hong Kong authorities honour Hong Kong’s National Security Law and Basic Law. This is nonsense. The CFHK Foundation’s President, Mark Clifford, said, “Saying so doesn’t make it so. The Hong Kong government’s claims are from a sort of Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy world. If Hong Kong’s government truly believed in a free press it would, for a start, let Jimmy Lai and the other dozen journalists it holds in jail free.

Han Zheng, Xi Jinping’s deputy, has been invited to King Charles III’s coronation. The CFHK Foundation’s President Mark Clifford told The Times, “There are over 1,400 political prisoners in Hong Kong today compared to none when Han Zheng took over the role to oversee Hong Kong in 2018. This should give the British government pause about inviting a man with this record of destruction to the coronation.”

In response to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s speech on the British government’s latest China policy, the CFHK Foundation’s UK and EU Director, Mark Sabah, said, “It seems as if James Cleverly is willing to give China a pass so long as UK trade and investment can flourish, which sets a horrific precedent for other European nations who are in disarray over how to approach China.”

Chris Bryant MP and the CFHK Foundation’s Mark Sabah authored a piece criticising the British government for not doing enough to help British nationals Vladimir Kara-Murza and Jimmy Lai who are imprisoned in Russia and Hong Kong, respectively. “The sanctions [against some Russian officials who jailed Vladimir-Kara-Murza] were a good step, but their imposition must be the beginning of a long, determined campaign to secure Vladimir’s freedom. That campaign should be extended to include Jimmy Lai,” they wrote.

The CFHK Foundation’s Mark Sabah spoke with Dr David Bull on TalkTV about British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly sanctioning of Russian officials who jailed British citizen Vladimir Kara-Murza. “What is the government doing to get Vladimir Kara-Murza back? Not only him, but Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong, another British citizen being hel