Jimmy Lai (June 2020): According to his own statement, "prepared for prison"Photo: ANTHONY WALLACE / AFP
China's government is apparently tightening its policy against the leaders of the democracy movement in Hong Kong. In the evening, media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai was arrested under the new Chinese security law.
This was reported on Monday from police circles in the Chinese special administrative zone and from the rich entrepreneur's environment. Lai is a leading figure in the Hong Kong democracy movement and the owner of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. According to the information, the 71-year-old's son was also taken into custody.
Lai are accused of collusion with "foreign powers", wrote Mark Simon, an employee of the media entrepreneur, in the short message service Twitter. This is a criminal offense under the so-called security law that the Beijing leadership put into effect in late June. Lai was also made on charges of fraud, according to a police source.
Most recently, activist Nathan Law, a fellow campaigner of Lai, warned against reprisals against democracy advocates in an interview with SPIEGEL. Speaking about the situation in Hong Kong, he said: "A policy of fear and terror has taken hold. Nobody knows exactly what will happen because the law is intentionally vague and leaves room for speculation."
Lai had told the AFP news agency in June - even before the so-called security law came into force - that he was "prepared for prison". He also said he did not regret his support for the protests. He called the so-called security law a "death knell for Hong Kong".
Chinese state media have described Lai as the "traitor" and puller behind the month-long protests of the Hong Kong democracy movement last year.
Law allows tough action by the authorities
The so-called Security Act massively restricts civil rights in Hong Kong and represents the heaviest Chinese encroachment on the autonomy rights of the former British Crown Colony to date. The law allows the authorities to crack down on all activities that they believe threaten national security. Violations can be punished with life imprisonment.
When Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997, it had been granted special rights for 50 years, including freedom of expression and assembly, on the principle of "one country, two systems".Icon: The mirror
jok / AFP