European Parliament calls for repeal of Hong Kong security laws
A Hong Kong cityscape is pictured in March 2024 through barbed wire.

A Hong Kong cityscape is pictured in March 2024. A European Parliament resolution on Thursday called for Hong Kong to release pro-democracy activists and Apple Daily newspaper’s Jimmy Lai. (Photo: AP/Louise Delmotte)

Brussels, April 25, 2024—The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed Thursday’s call by the European Parliament for the repeal of two Hong Kong security laws that it said undermine press freedom and for the release of Jimmy Lai, founder of the now-shuttered pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily.

The parliamentary resolution condemned Hong Kong’s adoption last month of a new security law, which includes offenses for treason, sabotage, sedition, theft of state secrets, and espionage. The latest legislation expands on a Beijing-imposed 2020 national security law, under which more than 200 people — including Lai — have been arrested, according to the European Parliament.

“The European Parliament’s resolution sends a clear signal to Hong Kong authorities — we are standing shoulder to shoulder with Apple Daily’s Jimmy Lai and pro-democracy activists who have been jailed for speaking out against repression,” said Tom Gibson CPJ’s EU representative. “Hong Kong and Chinese authorities should repeal the Hong Kong security laws and stop harassing and prosecuting journalists.”

In 2023, the European Parliament urged Hong Kong to immediately and unconditionally release Lai, saying that he had been detained on “trumped-up charges.”

Lai faces life imprisonment if convicted of conspiring to collude with foreign forces under the 2020 security law.

A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 with the guarantee of a high degree of autonomy, including freedom of speech, under a “one country, two system” formula.


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