LONDON — The son of jailed Hong Kong media mogul and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai will meet with Britain’s overseas secretary on Tuesday to foyer for the U.Ok.’s assist in securing his launch from jail.
Lai, the founding father of the now-defunct Apple Each day, an outspoken pro-democracy newspaper, faces a long-delayed trial subsequent week over fees he violated sweeping nationwide safety legal guidelines that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong after anti-government protests.
The 76-year-old British citizen has been in detention since 2020 over different offenses. He faces life in jail if convicted of the nationwide safety fees.
His son Sebastien Lai, who leads a global marketing campaign to name for his father’s launch, mentioned he was hopeful that the assembly with British Overseas Secretary David Cameron will assist elevate the case’s profile and add to worldwide strain on Hong Kong’s authorities.
“I’m optimistic that it will be very useful in my father’s case,” Lai advised reporters Monday.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese language rule in 1997.
Jimmy Lai is accused of conspiring with others to name for worldwide sanctions or have interaction in hostile actions towards Hong Kong or China. He additionally faces a cost of collusion with overseas forces to hazard nationwide safety, and a separate sedition cost underneath a colonial-era regulation that’s more and more used towards the opposition.
The enactment of the nationwide safety regulation in 2020 has led to the arrests of scores of opposition lawmakers and democracy activists, in addition to an exodus of younger professionals frightened of shrinking civil liberties.
Apple Each day was pressured to shut following the arrests of its prime executives, editors and journalists.
Caoilfhionn Gallagher, a London-based rights lawyer main the Lais’ worldwide authorized staff, argued that the trial, to be overseen by three judges, is stacked towards him.
“There’s no attainable end result for this trial that’s honest,” she mentioned.
Sebastien Lai and his authorized staff hope that diplomatic strain might be instrumental. They cite the case of Cheng Lei, the Chinese language Australian journalist who was launched earlier this yr after being detained for 3 years in China on murky espionage fees.
Cheng’s return to Australia was seen as the results of lobbying from the Australian authorities and improved relations between China and Australia.