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FACTBOX-What people are saying about the arrest of Hong Kong's Jimmy Lai

Lai's arrest, for suspected collusion with foreign forces, is the most high profile under the security legislation, which has been widely condemned by Western governments and international human rights groups who say it will crush freedoms in the former British colony. Lai, 71, has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong just before midnight on June 30.

Reuters | Updated: 10-08-2020 08:45 IST | Created: 10-08-2020 08:45 IST
FACTBOX-What people are saying about the arrest of Hong Kong's Jimmy Lai

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was arrested on Monday under Beijing's new national security law for the city, sending a chill across the global financial hub. Lai's arrest, for suspected collusion with foreign forces, is the most high profile under the security legislation, which has been widely condemned by Western governments and international human rights groups who say it will crush freedoms in the former British colony.

Lai, 71, has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing, which imposed the sweeping new law on Hong Kong just before midnight on June 30. Here is what people are saying about Lai's arrest.

Steven Butler, Asia program co-ordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists: "The arrest of media tycoon Jimmy Lai bears out the worst fears that Hong Kong's national security law would be used to suppress critical pro-democracy opinion and restrict press freedom," Butler said in a statement. "Jimmy Lai should be released at once and any charges dropped."

Wang Dan, dissident and exiled student leader of the crushed 1989 Tiananmen Square protests: "Although it was expected, the arrest of Jimmy Lai was still very outrageous because his two sons were also arrested, which was obviously an attempt by the authorities to destroy Lai's will through family ties," Wang said on Twitter. "I call on the international community to take immediate action." (Compiled by Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)


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