Today marks the beginning of the trial brought against Hong Kong media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai under National Security Law charges. He has faced multiple prosecutions related to his support for free expression and democracy in Hong Kong, notably since the imposition of the National Security Law by Beijing in 2020. He has been imprisoned for over one thousand days.
The European Union deplores the charges brought against him and journalists from Apple Daily and is monitoring the trial closely. The trial brought against him undermines confidence in the rule of law in Hong Kong and is detrimental to the city’s attractiveness and its position as an international business hub.
The EU recalls that Apple Daily, the independent newspaper founded by Jimmy Lai, was forced to close its operations in June 2021, showing how freedom of the press and the free expression of opinions are being stifled in Hong Kong since the imposition of the National Security Law.
The EU recalls that these freedoms are enshrined in the Basic Law and that China undertook international commitments under the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and rights and freedoms, including freedom of the press.