Jimmy Lai trial: Observer not allowed to go to Hong Kong

As of: April 12, 2024 1:40 p.m

An employee of Reporters Without Borders wanted to observe the trial of democracy activist Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong. But she was stopped at the airport. This is causing criticism before Chancellor Scholz’s visit to China.

According to Reporters Without Borders, the employee was detained, searched and interrogated at the airport in Hong Kong for six hours before being put on a plane and deported.

The reason for the employee’s trip was a hearing in the trial against Jimmy Lai, which she wanted to attend. The former newspaper publisher and democracy activist is accused of endangering national security. The 76-year-old faces a life sentence.

New “security law” the situation in Hong Kong is worsening

Reporters Without Borders campaigns for freedom of expression and the working conditions of journalists worldwide. The organization strongly condemned the authorities’ actions as another blow to press freedom in Hong Kong.

The former British colony of Hong Kong has been part of the People’s Republic of China since 1997. Freedoms and rights originally promised by the communist leadership have now largely been abolished. The rule of law, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press were sometimes severely restricted. A few weeks ago, the Hong Kong government, appointed by the state and party leadership in Beijing, passed a new so-called “security law”. This enables the authorities to take even tougher action against critical voices.

Demand: Scholz should address the situation in Hong Kong

Before Olaf Scholz’s trip to China, human rights activists and NGOs in Germany called on the Chancellor to also address the situation in Hong Kong. The Chancellor must make it clear that Germany will not tolerate China’s oppression and disregard for freedoms and human rights in the special administrative region, according to the Freedom for Hong Kong eV association

Scholz flies to China on Saturday evening and will be in the People’s Republic from Sunday to Tuesday. In addition to visits to the metropolises of Chongqing and Shanghai, a meeting with state and party leader Xi Jinping is also planned in Beijing.

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