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Sebastien Lai urges the British government to take immediate action to release his father

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

PRESS RELEASE: Sebastien Lai urges the British government to take immediate action to release his father

11 January 2023 – Today Sebastien Lai, son of Jimmy Lai, was in the British Parliament meeting with MPs and Members of the House of Lords to discuss his father’s false imprisonment and the destruction of his business Next Digital, the parent company of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.

Mr Lai met with Iain Duncan Smith MP, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Lord David Alton, and Baroness Natalie Bennett amongst others. Mr Lai asked why the British government is not doing anything to ensure his father’s release. Mr Lai urged the British Government and the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to take immediate action to release his father and to speak out against Hong Kong’s authorities for their destruction of a free and open society.

Mr Lai also met with Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the British Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific, to brief her on his father’s situation, and the deterioration of rule of law in Hong Kong and asked for her help in raising his father’s case with the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. This meeting followed Jimmy Lai’s international legal team’s request to meet with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. However, the UK has yet to take action to help Jimmy Lai and is falling behind the US and EU in speaking out against the Hong Kong authorities and the CCP. This is particularly concerning given that Jimmy Lai is a British citizen who has devoted his life to spreading democracy and free speech in Hong Kong.

Sebastien Lai said:

My father, Jimmy Lai, is a British citizen who because of his pro-democracy stance has been in jail for the last two years. This week I have met with members of the government and the British Parliament. It is their duty to protect one of their own citizens. They must speak out for the democratic values that underpin our nation's freedom. Their voice is crucial in letting Beijing know that the world is watching and they must not let China undermine them.”

The CFHK Foundation President, Mark Clifford, said:

“The meetings of Minster and British MPs with Sebastien Lai must not fall on deaf ears. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly must take a stand now as the CCP continues its illegal detention of Jimmy Lai. Jimmy Lai is a British citizen and should expect the full weight of support from the British government. It is time for Sebastien to be reunited with his father.”

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