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Defending Hong Kong at the UN and Advocating with Sebastien Lai in the US

Committee News

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s Communications Manager, Megan Khoo, delivered a statement on Hong Kong’s human rights violations toward women at the United Nations. Mrs Khoo said, “It is unacceptable that female human rights activists, female journalists, and female politicians face physical assault and harassment, gender-targeted language, and transnational repression at the hands of the Hong Kong authorities.”

President of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation Mark Clifford attended the Committee to Protect Journalists’ World Press Freedom Day event in New York City featuring Jimmy Lai’s son, Sebastien Lai.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Frances Hui, attended an event on media freedom in Washington with Sebastien Lai, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s Chairman Ambassador James Cunningham, Jimmy Lai’s lead international lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, US Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. During the event, Sebastien condemned the Vatican and British government for failing to speak out on behalf of his father, a devout Catholic and British citizen.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation and 29 Hong Kong advocacy groups and allies sent a joint letter to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee to request that the respective committees examine the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO) Certification Act. Frances Hui said, “HKETOs are no longer serving their purpose to encourage trade between the US and Hong Kong but are causing unnecessary intimidation for Hong Kongers who have fled from the oppressive hand of the Chinese Communist Party.”

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a hearing on Hong Kong’s political prisoners and eroded rule of law, for which Mark Clifford and Frances Hui submitted written testimonies. The CECC also released a report calling for sanctions on Hong Kong judges who have contributed to human rights violations in their judgements under Hong Kong’s National Security Law.

UK and EU Director for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation Mark Sabah was a panellist at a Henry Jackson Society event focused on why Britain must help rebuild Ukraine before the gap is filled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation told Sky News, “It is pretty disgraceful that the architect of Hong Kong’s demise [was] invited to the coronation of King Charles III. Who calls the shots in Britain, is it Beijing or our Prime Minister?”

Duncan Bartlett, Research Associate at the SOAS China Institute at the University of London, interviewed Mark Clifford regarding British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s speech on UK-China relations. Mr Clifford said, “I would hope that the remarks would hint at a tougher attitude towards protecting Hong Kongers who have immigrated to Britain and been the subject of physical and other attacks in the UK.”

Frances Hui spoke out about a Chinese man who is facing federal charges for allegedly helping the Chinese Communist Party spy on the Chinese community in Boston. Ms Hui said, “It’s an organized spy activity on dissidents from Hong Kong.”

Mark Sabah spoke with the Support Jimmy Lai campaign to call on the British government to press for the release of British citizen Jimmy Lai.

The Epoch Times exposed how UK universities have accepted £30 million from the Chinese corporation Huawei. Mr Sabah said, “It’s a high-risk strategy by universities and one that could do a huge amount of damage to the higher education sector, as well as to British cities in general.”

Jimmy Lai

The son of Jimmy Lai, Sebastien Lai, warned Western businesses to beware of doing business in Hong Kong, which is no longer the free city the world once knew. Mr Lai said, “For any company looking to expand or invest in Hong Kong: Just Google: Apple Daily raid.”

Sebastien Lai blasted TikTok for suspending the Acton Institute’s TikTok account and blocking content from The Hong Konger film, which features the extraordinary life of his father.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s legislature unanimously approved an amendment allowing the chief executive to ban foreign lawyers from defending national security cases. The Financial Times reported, “This will send a chill through Hong Kong’s legal community” and may have dire implications for the trial of Jimmy Lai.

Hong Kong political cartoonist Zunzi has had his comic strip removed from the Ming Pao newspaper after the Hong Kong authorities repeatedly complained about his comics.

Google’s transparency reports reveal that the Hong Kong authorities asked Google to remove 330 items in 2022, 57 relating to national security.

The Hong Kong authorities executed a search warrant and seized the ‘Pillar of Shame’ sculpture commemorating China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The “patriotic education” required by the National Security Law has generated a mass exodus of students and teachers, causing Hong Kong schools to close and people to leave the city.

UK-China Relations

Britain’s Minister of State for Investment Lord Dominic Johnson made Britain’s first official visit to Hong Kong since 2018 this week, saying, “Britain would engage with China and Hong Kong where interests converge but would stand up for its values.” This is a step in the wrong direction for Britain after the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, application of the National Security Law, arrest of British citizen Jimmy Lai, and utter destruction of the once thriving global financial hub. More than 90 MPs and former cabinet ministers highlighted the missed opportunity of the British government to place pressure on the Hong Kong authorities to free the trapped pension funds of Hong Kongers when Lord Dominic Johnson visited Hong Kong. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly met with the Vice President of China, Han Zheng. James Cleverly said he “made plain the UK’s views on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan”.

Lord David Alton asked the British government how they will respond to Hong Kong’s virtual elimination of democratically-elected District Council seats, another violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

Jim Shannon MP voiced concern over the alleged, illegal secret Chinese police station in Belfast, sharing his constituents’ worries regarding their safety.

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