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‘Lending Prestige to Persecution’: Why Foreign Judges Should Quit Hong Kong’s Top Court


The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation released a report authored by Alyssa Fong, Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager for the CFHK Foundation, and Samuel Bickett, a Hong Kong human rights lawyer and advocate. Titled “Lending Prestige to Persecution: How Foreign Judges are Undermining Hong Kong’s Freedoms and Why They Should Quit,” the report details how foreign judges sitting on Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal are legitimizing human rights abuses and weakening rule of law.

Alistair Carmichael MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hong Kong, hosted the report launch at the British Parliament on Tuesday. The panel discussion included the report's author, Alyssa Fong, and Dr, Jane Richards, Lecturer in Law at the University of York and former academic at the University of Hong Kong, discussing why foreign judges should resign.

Jimmy Lai's Trial Update

The trial of Jimmy Lai continued on May 13th with the prosecution completing the examination of six key witnesses. The court rejected a defence request to re-summon former Next Media CEO Cheung Kim-hung to clarify details of so-called Lunchbox Meetings recorded on the Slack platform. Subsequent testimony from a police officer detailed contacts with Cheung Kim-hung after he was denied bail.

Detailed trial updates available here: Support Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong

YouTube announced it will block 32 video links inside Hong Kong, including the protest anthem "Glory to Hong Kong," following a court order. The decision was prompted by a government request granted by Hong Kong's Court of Appeal.

"We are disappointed by the Court's decision but are complying with its removal order," YouTube said in a statement, and that it shared human rights groups' concerns that the content ban could chill free expression online. "We'll continue to consider our options for an appeal, to promote access to information."

U.K. - Hong Kong

Three individuals, including a staffer at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (HKETO), were arrested on allegations of spying for the Hong Kong intelligence service. The suspects are alleged to have targeted activists subject to Hong Kong government bounties for their arrest including Finn Lau, Christopher Mung, and Nathan Law.

The CFHK Foundation commends the British Government for taking the issue seriously enough to make the arrests. If the allegations are proven true it recommends "serious sentencing" to deter transnational repression on British soil. The CFHK Foundation calls for the closure of the HKETO, as it no longer serves its original purpose of promoting trade and economic activity on behalf of a territory with a “high degree of autonomy” but instead acts at the behest of Beijing to spy on the Hong Kong diaspora and dissidents in the UK.

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