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CFHK Foundation urges Italian lawmakers to shut Milan HKETO


Mark Clifford, President of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation, and Mark Sabah, UK and EU Director of the CFHK Foundation, testified in the Italian Parliament before the Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on the Indo-Pacific on the trial of Jimmy Lai and the broader crackdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong. The hearing, chaired by Paolo Formentini MP, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Indo-Pacific Sub-Committee, highlighted the continuing erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong under the 2020 National Security Law and recently enacted Article 23 security legislation.

The CFHK Foundation called on the Italian Government to shut the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) in Milan, provide humanitarian pathways for Hong Kongers fleeing the territory, and combat transnational repression directed against Hong Kongers and others by agents of the Chinese government.

Mark Sabah, Mark Clifford, Giulio Tremonti MP, and Paolo Formentini MP

Frances Hui, Advocacy Coordinator for the CFHK Foundation, spoke at a roundtable held by the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party titled "The Future of Hong Kong: U.S. Policy Going Forward.” Other experts included Jonathan Price, Member of Jimmy Lai's Legal Team, and Hong Kong activist Joey Siu.

Hui told the Select Committee the response by the Biden Administration and US Congress to the Article 23 legislation and intensifying crackdown on Hong Kong "needs to be much stronger." She called on members of the Select Committee to pass the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices Certification Act (H.R. 1103) which will shut down HKETOs in the U.S. She also called for passage of the Hong Kong Sanctions Act (H.R. 6153), which would hold Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights violations.

Jimmy Lai's Trial Update

The trial of Jimmy Lai continued on May 20th, when a national security officer continued to testify about the investigation into Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily. The court then played clips from interviews Jimmy Lai had given to the media beginning in 2020. Lai said he would stay in Hong Kong until the last day, or else "I’d be ashamed of myself."

The prosecution played a segment from an episode of “Live Chat with Jimmy Lai.” In the episode, Lai reflected on his arrest and detention by national security police. He recounted the overwhelming support from the people of Hong Kong, who rallied around him in defiance of injustice. Asked if he had any message for his supporters, Lai said, “No matter the difficulties or hardships, knowing in my heart that I am doing the right thing gives me peace and even happiness. There was not a moment… not a moment when my hands were in handcuffs that I felt miserable or humiliated; I didn’t feel that at all."

The trial has exceeded its expected duration of 80 days, reaching its 81st day on Wednesday.

Detailed trial updates available here: Support Jimmy Lai

U.K. - Hong Kong

Matthew Trickett, a British man accused of spying for Hong Kong's intelligence service, was found dead in a park in Berkshire. Thames Valley Police said in a statement: "Officers attended the scene and found a man. Emergency treatment was commenced but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation is ongoing into the death, which is currently being treated as unexplained.” The Hong Kong government has declined to comment.

Trickett was one of three men charged last week under Britain’s National Security Act with assisting a foreign intelligence service and foreign interference. According to London’s Metropolitan Police, “the foreign intelligence service to which the above charges relate is that of Hong Kong.” One of the men was an office manager of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London.

The 'Flame of Freedom' Blog🔥

Finding Hope and Power in the Ideological Battlegrounds of the 21st Century: Copenhagen Democracy Summit

This blog is authored by Chloe Cheung, she is the Communications and Media Assistant for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation.

"In this ideological war, it is easy to become disheartened by the enormity of the challenges we face. Authoritarian regimes often appear strong and unshakable, with leaders who seemingly hold power indefinitely. However, for those of us who believe in democracy, we must maintain faith that through unity and preparation, we can bring down these regimes."

Read More Here.

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