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The European Parliament passed a resolution urging the Hong Kong government to release Jimmy Lai

Posted by on 2023/06/16. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

The European Parliament on Monday passed a resolution urging the Hong Kong government to release Next Media founder Jimmy Lai and repeal the Hong Kong National Security Law, the latest of many pro-Hong Kong resolutions in the European Parliament in recent years.

The resolution received widespread support and was adopted by 483 votes in favor, 9 against, and 42 abstentions. The resolution urges the Hong Kong government to “immediately and unconditionally release and drop all charges against Mr. Lai and all other pro-democracy representatives and activists who exercise freedom of expression and fundamental human rights,” and reiterates its call on the Council of the European Union to impose targeted sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials involved in the suppression of human rights in Hong Kong, including Chief Executive Li Ka-chiu, in accordance with the “EU global human rights sanctions regime.”

The resolution refers to incidents such as the refusal of LAI Chi Ying to employ overseas lawyers to defend him, the forced suspension of Apple Daily and Stand News, and the plight of political prisoners such as Lai Chi Ying, Albert Ho, Raymond Chow, Tai Yiu-ting and Joshua Wong in long-term detention by the Hong Kong Government.

The resolution also noted that the Hong Kong National Security Law “crosses borders” and called on the authorities to repeal it and stop obstructing the work of all journalists.

Mr. Lai’s son, Lai Chung-en, said the resolution sent a powerful message to Hong Kong that “the international community will not turn a blind eye by attacking and jailing my father and other prominent Democrats and trying to silence them.” “I thank the European Parliament for their firm stand and important recognition of the alarming deterioration of the rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, and for their call for the release of my father.”

Ilfian Gallagher, a lawyer who led Lai’s international legal team, said, “We now face the horrific prospect of a British national dying in prison for standing up for democratic values and exercising his internationally protected rights,” adding, “It is heartening to see the European Parliament now speaking out for Lai.” Now, Hong Kong must act – before it is too late.”

The latest Resolution Office of the European Parliament has put forward a number of demands on the EU office in Hong Kong, including calling on the office to strengthen court observation, regular reporting of important court trials, and making requests for prison visits to the Hong Kong government. Lexman, one of the sponsors of the resolution and a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China Policy, said that the EU must make a principled and clear response, such as imposing targeted sanctions on those responsible and reviewing Hong Kong’s international status.

Regarding the issue that the European Parliament often passes resolutions in support of Hong Kong, but most of them are difficult to have a real impact in the EU, Kwong Chung-ching, coordinator of the Hong Kong Initiative of the “Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China Policy”, said that the EU has its complex structure, and if there are countries with good relations with China in the EU Council against something, the EU Council cannot make a decision. But, she said, “Even if the European Parliament cannot decide the direction of certain laws, its resolutions are not completely useless, because these actions show that there are still people who care about Hong Kong affairs, and put pressure on the Council of the EU to take real action to hold China and the Hong Kong government accountable on human rights issues.”

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