Democracy and Free Speech in Hong Kong: The Case of Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily


Sebastien Lai
Jimmy Lai’s son

Maria Ressa @Rappler
Journalist and co-founder, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler, Winner of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
Human Rights barrister and leader of the international legal team acting for Jimmy Lai

Jodie Ginsberg
President, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) @Committee to Protect Journalists

Chaired by
John Simpson
Foreign Correspondent and BBC News World Affairs Editor

Jimmy Lai, now aged 74, is a renowned media entrepreneur, writer and campaigner. He is a high-profile supporter of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement and advocate for peaceful assembly, who has been an outspoken critic of Beijing’s control over Hong Kong for many years.

For this reason, Mr Lai – and journalists at the newspaper he founded, Apple Daily – have been repeatedly targeted by Hong Kong authorities. The newspaper published material critical of Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong until it was forced to close in June 2021. Mr Lai has since faced a barrage of criminal cases, including for attending peaceful protests and under the National Security Law in 2020. He is currently serving concurrent prison sentences in relation to four separate peaceful assembly cases, including for attending a candlelit vigil marking the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.

But the most serious of all cases is the prosecution Mr Lai faces under the National Security Law. His case is emblematic of the broader crackdown in Hong Kong.

On Tuesday 6th September, ahead of the 51st session of the Human Rights Council, we will be hosting an event to discuss Mr Lai’s important case moderated by John Simpson, BBC News World Affairs Editor, to discuss the situation in Hong Kong, and the latest updates in his case, including the recent appeal to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention filed by his international legal team.

Speakers will include:

Jimmy Lai’s son Sebastien Lai
2021 Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa;
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, the leader of his international legal team; and
Jodie Ginsberg, President of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
This event will be followed by a drinks reception (4.30-5.30pm CET).

This is an invitation-only event with limited space to attend in-person. RSVP is required. Please register your interest using the above link and await confirmation of your place before attending in-person.
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