top of page

United Nations “grave concern” over Jimmy Lai jailing

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Top News

UN experts sent a formal communication to Beijing expressing their “grave concern” over the detention of Jimmy Lai, a British citizen, husband, father and newspaper owner who has been jailed in Hong Kong for 883 days.

The High Court of Hong Kong rejected a legal bid from Jimmy Lai to terminate his national security trial. Mark Clifford, President of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said, “The Hong Kong authorities are making a fair trial for Jimmy Lai impossible by appointing handpicked judges, denying his preferred lawyer, and giving unaccountable National Security Law authorities a say in the case.”

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women released recommendations for the Hong Kong government in response to its 85th session that included China’s state report, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s written and oral statements and other testimonies. Megan Khoo, Communications Manager for the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, said, “The CEDAW heeded our call to examine the increasing gender-based violence including cyberviolence and stalking towards women in Hong Kong. The CEDAW also questioned the cancellation of the annual International Women’s Day march in Hong Kong.”

The Independent reported on the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation’s panel discussion for World Press Freedom Day in the British Parliament, where Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC, lead international lawyer for Jimmy Lai, called out how the Hong Kong authorities continue to wage “lawfare” against Mr Lai and others.

Central News Agency Taiwan covered the World Press Freedom Day event hosted by the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation, which featured Caoilfhionn Gallagher KC underscoring how the Hong Kong authorities continue to use the National Security Law to target journalists and human rights defenders worldwide.

Jimmy Lai

Jimmy Lai was represented by his Senior Counsel in the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong. The court revealed that Mr Lai’s trial is predicted to take 83 days starting in September, which is 53 days longer than initially expected.

Sebastien Lai, son of Jimmy Lai, spoke to the mass crackdowns in Hong Kong and how hundreds of policemen raided his father's newspaper outlet, Apple Daily.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Security Secretary Chris Tang warned the public against endangering national security on the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre killings on June 4th.

A private film screening in Hong Kong scheduled for June 4th was cancelled for "sensitivity" reasons despite the documentary having nothing to do with the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Thirteen Hong Kongers who stormed the Hong Kong legislature in 2019 in the “most violent episode in the initial phase of the huge pro-democracy protests” went on trial in a Hong Kong court, facing up to ten years behind bars.

The death knell sounded for the Civic Party of Hong Kong, one of the most prominent and last-standing pro-democracy political groups.

The top sports federation in Hong Kong has advised Hong Kong sports teams to boycott award ceremonies at international competitions if the organiser refuses to verify that the Chinese anthem, and not Glory to Hong Kong, is played.

More than two years after being arrested for singing Glory to Hong Kong in the streets, busker Oliver Mahas been acquitted in Hong Kong.

The comedy scene in Hong Kong is no longer funny as open mic nights have become sites for Chinese Communist Party officials to monitor and report jokes that may offend the Hong Kong government.

UK-China Relations

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly raised the case of British citizen Jimmy Lai with the “highest levels of the Hong Kong authorities”. UK government officials should immediately and publicly raise Mr Lai’s case.

His Majesty's Revenue and Customs was urged to stop sharing the financial information of Hong Kongers in Britain with the Chinese government. Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Alicia Kearns MP, declared, “Those who flee to the UK deserve to know they are protected”.

In an egregious case of transnational repression, a church in England cancelled their event that included children’s books considered “seditious” in Hong Kong after former Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung urged UK police to investigate the event.

The University of Sunderland opened a campus in Hong Kong, making it the only campus fully owned by a British university in the city-state.

46 views0 comments


bottom of page