Updated: Dec 23, 2022
PRESS RELEASE: Twenty-nine members of the British Parliament write to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly urging him to call for Jimmy Lai's release
Monday 19th December – The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation (CFHK Foundation) co-ordinated a letter to the British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, signed by 29 cross-party MPs and peers, urging him to condemn the sentencing of British citizen Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong and calling for his release.
On Saturday 10th of December, Mr Lai was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison in Hong Kong for trumped-up fraud charges, for “violating” a lease contract for the headquarters of his newspaper Apple Daily. Mr Lai also faces other spurious charges under Hong Kong’s National Security Law. In a further attack on justice, Mr Lai’s national security trial has this week been suspended until September 2023, as the prosecution said it was waiting on a decision from Beijing on whether to allow Lai international counsel.
The cross-party and cross-bench group of 29 MPs and peers write that the “latest sentencing is yet another move by the Chinese Communist Party to keep Mr Lai imprisoned and unable to champion democracy and human rights” and “call on the UK Government to publicly condemn the sentencing of Mr Lai and call for his release.”
The MPs and peers who signed the letter are as follows: Stuart McDonald MP, Damian Green MP, Robert Buckland MP, Daniel Kawczynski MP, Angus MacNeil MP, Mike Kane MP, Baroness Goudie, Carol Monaghan MP, Marie Rimmer MP, Valerie Vaz MP, Patrick Grady MP, Hilary Benn MP, Paul Blomfield MP, Ben Bradshaw MP, Bob Seely MP, Stella Creasy MP, Barry Sheerman MP, John Nicolson MP, Sir Edward Leigh MP, Geraint Davies MP, Lord Cormack, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Goudie, Lord German, Baroness Cox, Baroness O’Loan, Lord Hain, Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws, Lord Moylan and Lord Monks.
CFHK Foundation President, Mark Clifford, said:
“It is great to see so many MPs and peers from both Houses supporting Jimmy Lai and calling on the UK Government to act on his sentencing. Jimmy Lai is a British citizen and has the right to be supported by his Government and Consulate. Failure to speak out and stand up for justice should concern all UK citizens living abroad and those Hong Kongers who have settle in the UK or hold a British passport. By not acting, the UK Government is allowing more human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party to take place. Unlike the UK Government, the CFHK Foundation will continue to fight until Jimmy Lai and all other political prisoners are released.”