Senate Foreign Relations Committee Introduces Resolution Slamming Political Persecution of Jimmy Lai
15 March 2023 – Today Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee led 38 Senators in introducing a resolution that slams the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) and Hong Kong authorities’ assault against Jimmy Lai, pro-democracy activists, and Hong Kong’s freedoms under international law.
The resolution condemns the Hong Kong authorities’ abusive leverage of the arbitrary National Security Law that was implemented in June 2020. Denouncing the CCP’s false charges against Hong Kongers, the resolution exposes the targeted theft of the now-defunct media outlet Apple Daily and the political persecution of its former owner, Jimmy Lai.
The resolution aims to protect the fundamental rights of those who are in Hong Kong and its diaspora. The resolution calls for the US government to use the tools at their disposal including those in the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act; and to pressure multilateral organisations to halt Hong Kong’s independent voting rights so long as Hong Kong remains under the auspice of the CCP.
Ranking Member Risch said, “The Chinese Communist Party’s enactment of the ‘Hong Kong National Security Law’ in 2020 removed any distinction between mainland China and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government’s practice of bringing false and politically motivated charges against Hong Kongers like Jimmy Lai and Cardinal Zen must stop.”
Chairman Menendez added, “I am proud to be joined by so many of my colleagues in affirming our unwavering support for Jimmy Lai and other democratic actors, human rights activists, journalists and other Hong Kong citizens being persecuted by the PRC’s shameful campaign to dismantle Hong Kong’s autonomy.”
The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Frances Hui, said:
“The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Hong Kong authorities have eradicated Hong Kong’s once-flourishing civil society, jailed thousands of pro-democracy activists, and crushed people’s freedoms using the National Security Law. The resolution introduced by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is vital to shine light on the very cases that the CCP has been trying to hide. The US government must hold the CCP responsible and continue to support the people of Hong Kong.”
The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s President, Mark Clifford, said:
“The CFHK Foundation is delighted that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has introduced this important resolution to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing political crackdown in Hong Kong. The cases of Jimmy Lai and other pro-democracy activists should be at the forefront of the international human rights movement as Hong Kong citizens continue to suffer from China’s broken promises to them and to the international community.”