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Saturday, Jan 23, 2021

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon charged under new security law denied bail

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon charged under new security law denied bail

Jimmy Lai, co-founder of Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily and international fashion retailer Giordano, was denied bail Thursday. The Hong Kong High Court ordered the media tycoon to be placed in custody until April on the basis that he might abscond.
He was charged under China’s new national security law which aims to prevent collusion with foreign powers.

Along with several pro-democracy anti-government figures, Lai was detained by the police on the 10th of August. Over 100 police officers raided the headquarters of Apple Daily, apprehending Lai’s sons and several top Apple Daily executives.

Fellow student-activist Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong were released on bail but were given sentences of 10 and 13 months respectively. Lai’s bail was denied by the courts, fearing that he might depart the country before facing charges.

This has happened before. At the very end of November ex-Hong Kong politician Ted Hui fled to Denmark under the guise of being invited to an international climate change conference by Danish politician Katarina Ammitzboell. He is currently seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.

There have been more than 30 arrests since Beijing passed the new national security law. Critics have seen Lai’s detention as a sign that Hong Kong is losing its battle for civil liberties. Apple Daily Editor-in-Chief Ryan Law has stated that the paper has sought an interim injunction for courts to seal documents seized by the police during the raid.
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