15 March, 2023
The Association of Overseas Hong Kong Media Professionals (AOHKMP) appreciated the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) 52nd session on March 15, which addressed Jimmy Lai’s wrongful incarceration as well as the Chinese Communist Party and Hong Kong authorities’ use and abuse of the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL) and counter-terrorism laws to criminalise Hong Kong’s free media.
AOHKMP also observed that the HKSAR government published a statement condemning foreign meddling in Jimmy Lai’s judicial processes. The administration criticised Jimmy Lai and his son Sebastian’s international legal team for scandalising NSL and the judicial system of the HKSAR and abusing UN mechanisms, it also stressed that the rule of law and judicial system had always been highly regarded by international communities.
In view of the harassment and persecution that Hong Kong media and journalists have endured over the past few years, as well as the false accusations made against Jimmy Lai, Next Media, and his staff, the HKSAR’s statement is without validity.
Recent comments by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (the Committee) on the human rights situation in Hong Kong demonstrated that the international community is well aware that the HKSAR manipulates the law to advance its political agenda, a common tactic employed by
authoritarian regimes. The Committee believes that the implementation of the NSL has effectively ended the judicial independence of Hong Kong.
(Please see this link for AOHKMP’s statement on the UNHRC’s comments on the fourth report submitted by the Hong Kong SAR government under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:https://www.aohkmp.org.uk/aohkmp-respond-to-the-united-nations-committee-on-economic-social-and-cultural-rights-on-the-fourth-report-submitted-by-the-hong-kong/ )
During the hearing session, Jimmy Lai’s son, Sebastien Lai, reiterated the HKSAR’s political persecution of his father: “In Hong Kong, [My father] chose to stand up for his principles and for freedom of expression and association in Hong Kong. [For that], he now faces trial on trumped up charges of sedition and endangering national security for his journalism, a trial that could condemn him to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
Media NGOs including the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK), and others, have advocated for Jimmy Lai’s release and urged the HKSAR to drop all false charges against him, his staff, and the Next Media for more than a year. The AOHKMP concurs with the actions and advocacy of our media colleagues and NGOs, and demands the immediate release of Jimmy Lai and all other journalists who are being falsely accused for doing their job: telling the truth.
For media enquiries in Chinese or English, please contact us at: email@example.com