Media in 42 countries demand Hong Kong press magnate’s release

Paris, May 16 (EFE).- More than 100 media managers from 42 countries, including two Nobel laureates, demand the release of Hong Kong magnate Jimmy Lai, whose imprisonment they link to his activity in favor of press freedom in the territory.

Rights organization Reporters Without Borders published a statement Tuesday including the message of the 116 “media leaders” who signed the declaration in support of Jimmy Lai and said the founder of the Apple Daily newspaper has worked for the last 25 years “to uphold the values of freedom of speech and press.”

The businessman, 75, behind bars since 2020, has been sentenced for participating in pro-democracy protests unauthorized by authorities and fraud, for allegedly authorizing a consultancy to operate in the offices of his newspaper.

He now faces a possible life sentence for another trial due to start in September for breaching a national security law.

In his statement, the media leaders gathered by the organization said he “has been targeted for publishing independent reporting, and we condemn all charges against him.”

They are also demanding the release of the 13 journalists currently detained in Hong Kong and calling for the charges against the 28 journalists indicted in the past three years under national security laws and similar regulations to be dropped.

Among those who subscribe to the text are the two Nobel Peace Prize winners of 2021, Russia’s Dmitry Muratov and the Filipino Maria Ressa. EFE


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