Hong Kong Police Charge Media Mogul Jimmy Lai With Foreign Collusion
Jimmy Lai, a 73-year-old Chinese media mogul who runs a pro-democracy newspaper in Hong Kong, has been charged with foreign collusion. Lai’s charges represent the most high-profile figure charged under the security law imposed on Hong Kong by China to eradicate dissent and pro-democracy ideology. Hong Kong claims that Lai was charged after an investigation by the National Security Department concluded that Lai was in communication with foreign governments, although no further details were offered. Collusion carries a maximum sentence of life in prison in China.
Over the past few weeks, China’s crackdown on pro-democracy figures has been accelerating. Authorities have expelled opposition lawmakers from the legislature, jailed prominent activists, and taken other actions to suppress the pro-democracy movement. On Monday night, Hong Kong security forces arrested eight men for their involvement at a peaceful protest that occurred at a university this year. Seven activists were arrested on Tuesday for participation in a protest on July 1. Jimmy Lai was arrested among nine others while at his home.