Reuters reports (probably paywalled) on an event to mark the 1,000th day of Jimmy Lai’s incarceration…
Sebastien Lai, who was in Geneva to take part in a British-organised event on media freedom in Hong Kong, has not seen his 75-year-old father in three years.
“I am optimistic because I believe that there’s no benefit in the Hong Kong government having my father die in jail,” Sebastien Lai said on the prospect of his father’s release.
“He’s a pro-democracy activist, a publisher, and he’s also an incredibly peaceful man… Now that they’ve taken all that he has, keeping him in prison is just cruel.”
…In a separate statement, the commissioner’s office of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong accused the United Kingdom and United States of “maliciously slandering” the national security law and “blatantly supporting the anti-China and disruptive Hong Kong activist Jimmy Lai.”
Sample (via Google Translate) from the MoFA’s statement, quoting a spokesperson…
…As the planner and instigator of the anti-China chaos in Hong Kong, and as the “agent” and “pawn” of the anti-China forces in the United States and the West, Jimmy Lai has committed numerous evil deeds and used all means to destroy more than 7 million Hong Kong people. The fundamental interests of citizens were ignored, the political system was undermined, divisive speeches were spread, foreign sanctions were begged, and the crime of internal and external collusion was obvious. The SAR government’s pursuit of responsibility for Jimmy Lai and others in accordance with the law is a necessary move to prevent risks and hidden dangers that endanger national security, a necessary move to safeguard the authority of Hong Kong’s national security law, and a necessary move to safeguard the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong society. It is well-founded in the law. , it’s only natural!
The Hong Kong government responds with it own press release…
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (September 26) strongly condemned and opposed the misleading and slanderous remarks by various overseas organisations and media against the law enforcement actions and legal proceedings in respect of the cases involving Lai Chee-ying, which constitute blatant political interference in the internal affairs of the HKSAR and the independent exercise of judicial power by the courts of the HKSAR.
… “The HKSAR Government despises the calls by the entities concerned for the so-called ‘sanctions’ and shall never be intimidated. We will continue to resolutely discharge the responsibility of safeguarding national security in accordance with the law. We strongly urge the relevant countries where the calls were addressed to observe the international law and basic norms of international relations and refrain from interfering in Hong Kong matters, which are purely China’s internal affairs.”
Suzanne Sataline’s comment…
HKSAR constantly confuses free speech by foreign groups/govts as slander/interference etc. A condemnation is not false nor necessarily malicious nor intrusion. It’s a reaction not criminal intent. Maybe DOJ flaks should attend law school.
Sebastien Lai might be right in saying it is not in Hong Kong’s ‘interest’ to see his father die in prison. Lots of things are not in Hong Kong’s interest, but they happen anyway.
Reminder from HKFP of Lai’s treatment by Hong Kong’s legal system: a five-year prison sentence for fraud, denial of his choice of lawyer, and a ‘collusion with foreign powers’ charge.
Meanwhile, crime in Hong Kong is up 34%.