Media mogul Jimmy Lai appeals to UN over Hong Kong cases

HONG KONG: Lawyer for Hong Kong Media mogul and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Hybrid is asking the United Nations to investigate his imprisonment and multiple charges of “legal harassment” to punish him for speaking out.
The publisher of the now defunct Apple Daily is one of the most prominent activists caught in the crackdown on virtually all political criticism in Hong Kong since the pro-popular protests. mass owners in 2019.
The crackdown continued early Monday with the arrest of another veteran journalist, Allan Au Ka-lun, a teaching consultant who has worked for several Hong Kong media outlets.
The actions of Lai’s lawyers in the UK follow that country’s announcement last month that it would withdraw its judges from Hong Kong’s top court because keeping them there would “legitimize them” oppression” in the former British colony.
Lai, 74, has been charged under Hong Kong’s sweeping national security laws and is serving 20 months in prison. His assets have been frozen and a series of legal lawsuits against him include four separate criminal prosecutions related to attending and participating in various protests, the legal group said. of him at Doughty Street Chambers in the UK said in a statement.
Lai faces “the risk of spending the rest of his life in prison just for speaking out and seeking to defend press freedom, democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong”, advises Lai, Caoilfhionn Gallaghersaid in the statement.
In a follow-up email, Gallagher said an appeal had been filed with the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, counterterrorism and human rights, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression. peace and association, and human rights defenders.
“We are waiting for a response,” she wrote.
Lai’s son, Sebastien Laiis cited as having urged the United Nations special rapporteur to investigate the actions of the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities against the people of Hong Kong.
Although the UN has a number of special rapporteurs, their powers are mainly limited to seeking information from government agencies and may seek substantive steps to end violations.
Hong Kong authorities had no immediate comment on the request. When Britain withdrew its judges, China reacted furiously, accusing Britain of flagrant interference and damage to Hong Kong’s justice system.
Police issued a brief notice of Au’s arrest, saying a 54-year-old man had been arrested for “conspiring to publish publication of a seductive nature” and was being held for further investigation. .
The national security law imposed by Beijing to rein in the local opposition defines seduction in extremely broad terms, allowing the government to punish virtually all public criticism of the government. government. Those caught in its net include four people arrested last week for clapping in court.
Au used to be a teaching consultant at China University’s journalism school and previously worked for Hong Kong media outlets. TVB and RTHK. He also wrote a column for the outspoken pro-democracy platform Stand News, which closed last year after police raids and arrests of employees.
In a statement, the Hong Kong Journalists Association said Au had served as a mentor to young journalists and expressed “deep concern” that his arrest would “further damage press freedom in the country”. Hong Kong.”
“We urge the police to explain the incident as soon as possible, and ask the government to protect the freedom of press and expression that Hong Kong citizens enjoy under the Basic Law,” the statement said. . Kong’s mini-constitution under which it returned to Chinese control.

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