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NEWSLETTER: ‘Freedom Has Become a Crime’: Jimmy Lai Trial Continues

TOP NEWS—Jimmy Lai’s Trial Update

The trial of Jimmy Lai resumed on 19 February, following the Lunar New Year holiday, with former Apple Daily associate publisher Chan Pui-man testifying as an “accomplice” witness.

Additionally, the prosecution presented evidence regarding a front-page advertisement from May 2020, which stated "freedom has become a crime," and an illustration allegedly done by Lai depicting a red star squashing figures accompanied by a message about the rule of law and freedom. 

The court also heard that Lai hosted live chat programs with U.S. guests on Twitter despite concerns from senior Apple Daily staff about potentially violating the National Security Law (NSL). Lai believed international pressure, especially from the U.S., could deter the enactment of the law. 

All of these events took place before the implementation of the NSL in June 2020. Hong Kong authorities earlier promised the law would not be applied retroactively.

Chan is among six senior Apple Daily employees who pleaded guilty to conspiring to collude with foreign forces in November 2022. She remains in prison awaiting sentencing.

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation Hires New U.S. Director

The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation is delighted to welcome Jonathan Stivers as our new U.S. Director, based in Washington D.C. as we continue to expand our work to advance the cause of Hong Kong freedom. 

Jonathan served over 25 years in high-level positions in the U.S. Congress and Administration focusing on U.S.-China relations and human rights. He played a leading role in the passage of legislation relating to Hong Kong and human rights, including the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Hong Kong

Hong Kong

An open letter condemning the Hong Kong government's plans to introduce Article 23 legislation has been co-signed by the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation and over 80 civil society organisations.

The statement criticised the proposed legislation for its vague provisions that are likely to further criminalise peaceful exercises of human rights and urges governments to hold Hong Kong officials accountable through targeted sanctions.

Hong Kong activist and human rights barrister Chow Hang-tung willserve the remainder of a 15-month jail termfor organising a peaceful Tiananmen Massacre memorial in 2021.Chow's sentence for “unauthorised assembly” was overturned in December 2023 after a lengthy legal battle, however, the city’s Court of Final Appealreversed her acquittal last month. Her sentence for this conviction was upheld by the city's top court on Monday.

U.S.-China Relations

Chinese Public Security Minister Wang Xiaohong accused the U.S. of harassing Chinese students studying there, urging law enforcement to focus on the safety of Chinese diplomatic personnel. China also called for the U.S. to cease listing China as a major drug source country and ensure the safety of its diplomatic missions and personnel in America.


Orbán's Hungary is Falling into China's Orbit

This blog is authored by Alyssa Fong, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation's Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

On Friday 16 February China’s public security minister, Wang Xiaohong met with Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán. The outcome? An agreement between the two states to deepen security cooperation.

Read more here

The University of York Censors Chinese Student for Being Anti-CCP

This blog is authored by Clara Cheung, a former Hong Kong District Councillor and a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of York.

Last week, I came across a troubling Instagram post about the censorship of a peaceful protest during a graduation ceremony at my school, the University of York. Intrigued, I sought further information from the article on the Voice of America Chinese (VOA) website referenced in the post.

Read more here

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