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Former British Supreme Court Judge Gives Face to Hong Kong's Authoritarian Legal System

Committee News

Former British Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption attended the opening of Hong Kong’s legal year. The CFHK Foundation’s President, Mark Clifford, told The Times that Sumption’s presence “gives credibility to a government that is waging warfare against its own citizens.” The CFHK Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies will co-host “Assessing Hong Kong’s Future as a Global Business Hub” next Wednesday, January 25. US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau, Greg May, will deliver the keynote address on how the National Security Law has transformed the city’s political environment and global competitiveness. RSVP by clicking here. The CFHK Foundation and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation will co-host “Prioritizing the Protection of Religious Freedom in Hong Kong” next Thursday, January 26. Nury Turkel, Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, will deliver the keynote address on how the international community can best respond to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) threat to Hong Kong’s religious freedom. RSVP by clicking here.

Jimmy Lai

Last week, Sebastien Lai urged the British government to meet with him regarding his father’s false imprisonment. Sky News reported that Sebastien Lai stated, “The American government has spoken more about this than the UK government, which is a real embarrassment because my father is a British citizen and he’s currently in prison for standing up for the very freedoms we have in this country.” Jimmy Lai’s London-based lawyers received rape and death threats allegedly orchestrated by Beijing. The Law Society Gazette detailed how this unjust “extraterritorial targeting” included bogus emails. “Britain has a responsibility to ensure that [Jimmy Lai] does not [die in jail],” wrote Benedict Rogers in The Telegraph. Rogers called out the British government’s failure to act on behalf of Jimmy Lai, a British citizen.

Hong Kong

According to The Standard, John Lee called for the passage of Article 23 to prevent any activities that Hong Kong authorities deem to be “national security risks”. This would only further expand the CCP’s mission to restrict the presence of the media and foreign political organizations. Hong Kong’s National Security Department arrested six individuals for selling books on the 2019 protests at a Lunar New Year festival. The Wall Street Journal reported that this followed John Lee’s warning that foreign forces still operate throughout the city. John Lee claimed that the media is spreading “fake news” and pursuing personal political aims that threaten Hong Kong’s national security, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. Hong Kong’s journalists are not publishing fake news but are being prevented from doing their job under the CCP’s tightening grip. Michiko Kiseki, a photographer from Japan who captured Hong Kong’s 2019 pro-democracy protests, was denied entry into Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Free Press reported that the Hong Kong Journalists Association stated that “journalists or other professionals should be allowed to visit or work in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong’s Chief Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung affirmed the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary in his opening remarks for Hong Kong’s new legal year, according to Reuters. However, the CCP forces Hong Kong judges to make decisions based on arbitrary legislation such as the National Security Law. Former Australian High Court judge Patrick Keane was appointed to Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. The Guardian reported that Keane believes foreign judges should not “vacate the field”. Yet, Keane’s embrace of Hong Kong’s authoritarian legal system sends an anti-democratic message to the free world. The Hong Kong Free Press reported that the Hong Kong Legislative Council has decided to omit lawmakers’ names from meeting minutes. This move will prevent oversight and negatively impact the media’s ability to report on Hong Kong’s legal sector.

China

Beijing appointed National Security Law enthusiast Zheng Yanxiong to lead its Hong Kong Liaison Office. According to The Guardian, this move demonstrates that the CCP plans to strengthen its control over Hong Kong. Senior British Members of Parliament called for the removal of Beijing’s investment in the UK’s most sensitive industries, according to iNews. We urge the UK government to immediately pass legislation to counter the CCP’s threat to Britain’s infrastructure. Cao Zhixin, an editor at Peking University Press, reported to The Guardian that the CCP has detained her in a secret location after she attended protests in Beijing. This is an attack on the global right to the freedom of assembly.

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