Deeply concerned, says UK after Hong Kong media tycoon produced in court

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 12, 2020, 06:41 PM(IST)

Boris Johnson Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai faces charges of "collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security". 

UK on Saturday said it was concerned as Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was charged under national security law and produced in court on Saturday. Jimmy Lai, owner of Hong Kong's best-selling Apple Daily, is a high-profile pro-democracy figure who criticises Beijing.

"The UK remains deeply concerned about the Hong Kong authorities' focus on pursuing legal cases against pro-democracy figures like Jimmy Lai," a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters.

"We have raised this case with the authorities and will continue to lobby them at senior levels to end their targeting of pro-democracy voices."

Jimmy Lai faces charges of "collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security". 

Lai has held UK citizenship since before Britain handed Hong Kong back to Chinese rule in 1997. However, Britain's foreign ministry has said it cannot offer him consular assistance as China does not recognise dual nationality.

Offences under the new law carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Also Read | Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai produced in court on national security charge

China's clampdown on Hong Kong has dramatically accelerated since it imposed the security law in June, with opposition politicians disqualified from the legislature and dozens of activists charged or investigated.

Some pro-democracy figures have fled abroad. One, Nathan Law, on Wednesday held his first meeting with a UK minister after relocating to Britain in July.

(With AFP inputs)

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