Friday, June 18, 2021
Home News Reports Hong Kong: Pro-democracy media leader Jimmy Lai arrested under China's new 'national security law',...

Hong Kong: Pro-democracy media leader Jimmy Lai arrested under China’s new ‘national security law’, may face a long prison sentence

Lai runs the largest pro-democracy media outlet 'Apple Daily' in Hong Kong. Chinese state mouthpiece Global Times has stated that Lai may face 'heavy penalties' and is unlikely to get bail.

On Monday, a 71-year-old- pro-democracy activist and media leader Jimmy Lai was reportedly arrested by the Hong Kong police under the draconian security law brought by China over accusations of foreign collusion. His detention is the first high-profile arrest made as per the new security law.

Reportedly, Lai facing charges for orchestrating anti-China protests in Hong Kong. Lai is the founder of the news portal, Apple daily. According to Mark Simon, an aide of Lai, the Hong Kong police executed a search warrant at the office. Police officials in plainclothes barged into the premises carrying plastic evidence tubs and walked through piles of paper. Later, a handcuffed Lai was brought into the office. His son has also been arrested.

The Hong Kong police claimed that a total of seven people, aged between 59 and 72, were arrested on suspicion of committing fraud and colluding with foreign powers to subvert national security of the country. Hong Kong police inform that those arrested aged between 59 to 72. “The police operation is still ongoing and does not rule out more arrests,” the force said.

Declining Press Freedom in Hong Kong

Although Hong Kong has enjoyed a high level of ‘press freedom’ as compared to China, Lai’s arrest marks the beginning of a change. Reportedly, several foreign journalists have complained that their visas were not being renewed. The immigration department in Hong Kong has set up a national security unit to decline ‘sensitive visas’, including that of journalists.

According to activist Eddie Chu-hoi Dick, the Chinese Communist Party wants to gag pro-democracy voices in the country such as Apple Daily. “Lai’s arrest is the first step of [a] HK media blackout, he was quoted as saying. China academic Jeffrey Wasserstrom informed that the draconian move was linked with the recent sanctions by the US. ‘They are also part of an ongoing trend, blow after blow against people and institutions in Hong Kong linked to its vibrant civil society,” he stated.

Charges of ‘foreign collusion’ against Jimmy Lai

Reportedly, Lai may face a prison sentence of 10 years or for life, if found guilty of collusion with foreign forces. In Hong Kong, foreign collusion refers to conspiring on the behest of a foreign entity to disrupt the government, undermine elections, or impose sanctions. Reportedly, the use of ‘unlawful means’ to provoke residents against the government of Hong Kong or China is a punishable offence.

According to China’s mouthpiece Global Times, Lai is unlikely to get bail and may face ‘heavy penalties’ along with 25 others who have been charged for participating in a Tiananmen Square massacre vigil on June 4 this year. The new laws brought in by China allows it t extradite offenders from Hong Kong and hold their trials in mainland China.

Breakdown of election machinery

Last week, the elections in Hong Kong were postponed for a year allegedly in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, several pro-democracy leaders were disqualified. Countries such as Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada have urged Hong Kong to hold elections at the earliest. Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab had also expressed deep concerns about the delay in elections and the disqualification of pro-democratic candidates. “We call on the Hong Kong government to reinstate the eligibility of disqualified candidates. We urge the Hong Kong government to hold the elections as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

China introduces new National Security Law in Hong Kong

The Communist Party of China had introduced a new national security law for Hong Kong, which introduces new crimes with severe penalties – up to life in prison – and allows Chinese security forces to legally operate in Hong Kong. The legislation gives extensive powers to China, which is intended to quell the ongoing protests in the Hong Kong demanding liberation from the occupation of Chinese. The legislation enables China to bring Hong Kong protestors to the mainland, prosecute and sentence them there. It also significantly restricts the city’s autonomy. Last week, the USA senate had passed a bill that seeks to sanction Chinese individuals and banks that help in restricting Hong Kong’s autonomy.

With the new law coming to effect, China has reportedly arrested dozens of peaceful protestors under the new sweeping national security laws imposed on the autonomous region of Hong Kong. India had also raised the issue at the UN last month.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Information about a fictitious train on ‘reliable’ Wikipedia, picked up by websites and academic journals: Here is how it originated

A 2016 edit about fictional Mashriq-Maghreb Express was removed from the East Pakistan Railway's Wikipedia page in 2020 only

‘Being targeted because I am Muslim’: SP leader Umed Idris plays victim card after giving Ghaziabad incident a communal spin

SP leader Umed Idris was booked by Ghaziabad police on May 17 for giving the Loni incident a communal spin in his Facebook video.

4 arrested in Hiranandani society fake vaccine scam, Tips Films, another production house were duped too: Reports

4 persons have been arrested by the Kandivali Police in the fake vaccination drive case. They have been sent to judicial custody till June 25.

Mukul Roy refuses to resign from assembly after defecting to TMC, Suvendu Adhikari petitions the speaker to disqualify him

Suvendu Adhilkari asks assembly speaker to disqualify Mukul Roy as per anti-defection law after Roy quite BJP to join TMC

‘Muslims must kill 4-6 persons before dying’: Congress’ new minority cell head Imran Pratapgarhi and his hate-filled ‘shayari’. Details

The newly appointed Congress minority cell head Imran Pratapgarhi is believed to be the favourite of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

FT refers to India as the ‘weakest link’ in the Quad. How their quoted expert denies conclusion and how they got it massively wrong

Quoting a few experts in foreign policy, FT declared that India is the 'weakest link' of the informal alliance as it had failed to provide necessary vaccines to the nations as it had agreed to in the Quad summit that was held in March.

Recently Popular

Pakistani audience go ballistic over Zee5 web series featuring Muslim girl-Indian Hindu boy love story, call it ‘haram’

The Pakistani web series features the love story between a Pakistani Muslim girl and Indian Hindu boy who have both lost their fathers to the conflict between the two nations.

Dhruv Rathee fans mark YouTuber Karolina Goswami for targeted harassment after she exposed his lies

After Karolina Goswami pointed out the factual errors and mistakes in the Dhruv Rathee video, Rathee's supporters have been harassing and abusing Goswami.

AAP celebrates Delhi’s new architectural marvel, the Moti Nagar speed breaker

AAP's Moti Nagar MLA has recently inaugurated a speed breaker, along with dozens of supporters flouting social distancing norms.

Republic TV issues statement over Arnab Goswami’s disappearance from the news network: Here is what they said

Arnab Goswami was last seen on May 2 during a discussion on West Bengal assembly polls. He will make a return on Monday.

Ghaziabad fake hate crime case: Unmuted video of elderly man seconds before he was beaten up released. Watch

In the video, Abdul can be heard admitting that one Intezar sent some people to him to make the 'tabeez' (occult amulet) and put them in his spell as he had some work from them.

Virtual hearing embarrassment: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi caught attending the court proceedings without pants

Abhishek Manu Singhvi was caught attending court proceedings in boxer shorts when one of the screens accidentally fell off and showed the naked legs of the senior advocate
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
554,357FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe