European Union Demands Immediate Release of Jimmy Lai

The European Parliament condemned the persecution of jailed newspaper publisher and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai, calling for his immediate and unconditional release from prison and the repeal of Hong Kong’s national security law (NSL), in a resolution passed on June 15, according to Voice of America.
The resolution passed with 483 votes in favor, 9 against, and 42 abstentions.
Emphasizing the gravity of the situation, the EU denounced the imprisonment of Lai, a prominent pro-democracy figure and outspoken critic of the Chinese government. Lai, who had been a staunch advocate for freedom of the press and was arrested and convicted on charges widely seen as politically motivated. Lai is set to face a trial on alleged violations of the NSL in September.
The EU further voiced its apprehension over the deteriorating human rights situation in Hong Kong, particularly the erosion of civil liberties and the stifling of independent journalism. It expressed solidarity with the people of Hong Kong, recognizing their legitimate aspirations for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
The EU urged the Hong Kong authorities to respect and protect freedom of expression, press, and assembly and called upon the authorities to release all individuals who have been detained for exercising their rights and to ensure a fair and impartial legal system.
The European Union’s call for Lai’s release comes amid escalating international concerns about the erosion of democratic norms and the curtailment of civil liberties in Hong Kong. Governments and organizations around the world have been voicing their support for Lai and condemning the crackdown on dissent in the region.
As the world watches Hong Kong, the international community continues to advocate for the restoration of democratic freedoms and the release of individuals unjustly imprisoned. The EU’s resolute stance serves as a reminder that the fight for justice and human rights is a collective effort that transcends borders and underscores the importance of safeguarding the principles that underpin free and open societies.
The Hong Konger, the Acton Institute’s new award-winning documentary, tells the story of Jimmy Lai’s heroic struggle against authoritarian Beijing and its erosion of human rights in Hong Kong. Banned by TikTok, the film premiered worldwide at on April 18, 2023, and is available in full on YouTube here.