Media tycoon Jimmy’s arrest draws international criticism

Khabarhub

August 11, 2020

4 MIN READ

Media tycoon Jimmy’s arrest draws international criticism

Jimmy Lai, publisher of Apple Daily, was arrested in Hong Kong on Monday. Photo: Reuters

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KATHMANDU: The arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, publisher of Apple Daily in Hong Kong has drawn international criticism.

Taking to Twitter, US Vice President Mike Pence said, “The arrest of @JimmyLaiApple in Hong Kong is deeply offensive & an affront to freedom loving people around the world. When I met w/ Jimmy Lai @WhiteHouse, I was inspired by his stand for democracy & the rights & autonomy that were promised to the people of Hong Kong by Beijing.”

Likewise, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was deeply troubled by reports of the arrest of Jimmy Lai.

“I’m deeply troubled by reports of the arrest of @JimmyLaiApple under Hong Kong’s draconian National Security Law. Further proof that the CCP has eviscerated Hong Kong’s freedoms and eroded the rights of its people,” he tweeted.

Similarly, US Senator Marco Rubio tweeted: “As more arrests are expected, the free world must respond quickly as well as provide safe harbor to at-risk Hong Kongers.”

Likewise, various personalities from EU and the UN have also expressed serious concern over Lai’s arrest.

Jimmy was arrested by Chinese authorities on Monday on the charge of colluding with foreign powers under the new security law (NSL).

Lai’s Apple Daily reported that scores of police personnel raided the media house leading to the arrest of Lai on early Monday.

Later Monday morning, a livestream uploaded to Facebook by Apple Daily showed police searching the company’s newsroom.

Posting a Twitter message, Mark Simon, a senior executive at Lai’s Next Media group, said that the tycoon was “being arrested for collusion with foreign powers at this time”.

Seven men in all, aged between 39 and 72, were arrested, according to a police statement, on charges including collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security, and conspiracy to commit fraud in line with Article 29 of the NSL.

Apple Daily — potentially a major blow to the newspaper’s operations in the city.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

Lai is a businessman estimated to be worth more than $1bn.He made his initial fortune in the clothing industry, and later ventured into media to establish the newspaper Apple Daily –critical of Hong Kong and mainland Chinese leadership.

Lai, also a British citizen, has been an activist against Beijing’s tight grip on Hong Kong. It may be noted that he supported the reform protests by participating in the anti-China demonstrations during which period he had warned that Hong Kong would become as corrupt as China as “without the rule of law, people who do business here will have no protection” there.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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