Jimmy Lai

Country:
China
Key Fact:

Lai has attracted the ire of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for his political activism and his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including religious freedom.

Charges:

alleged collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, as well as fraud

Sentence:

20 Months

Detained Since:

Dec 12, 2020

Biography:

Jimmy Lai escaped communist China to Hong Kong at the age of 12. Despite his UK citizenship, he chose to remain in Hong Kong to advocate against the encroachment of the Chinese communist government on Hong Kong’s freedoms. Lai has been outspoken about his Catholic faith, serving as a tireless advocate for the religious freedom of Catholic churches in China and openly expressing concern over the future of religious freedom in Hong Kong. He has also called on the Vatican to exercise its moral authority in its relationship with the Chinese government.

On August 10, 2020, Lai was arrested at his home in Hong Kong for alleged collusion with foreign forces under the new national security law, as well as fraud. On December 2, the Hong Kong police arrested Lai again for fraud and subsequently denied him bail. On December 11, Hong Kong authorities charged Lai with colluding with foreign forces, making him the first high-profile figure to be charged under the new national security law. Lai has attracted the ire of the Chinese and Hong Kong governments for his political activism and his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government’s human rights abuses, including religious freedom.

On May 28, 2021, Lai was sentenced to 14 months in prison on top of the six months he had already served. 

Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims List

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