Hong Kong democracy media tycoon's trial begins

Jimmy Lai, a 76-year-old activist from Hong Kong, has been detained under the National Security Law (NSL) and sedition charges since December 2020. The trial, which has been delayed for a year, is expected to last for about 80 days. Beijing claims the NSL is necessary to quell unrest and considers Lai a traitor. Critics argue that Lai’s case is another example of Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong. He is also facing a sedition charge under a colonial-era law based on his tweets, interviews, and articles. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron is concerned about Lai’s prosecution and has called for his release. His son, Sebastian Lai, has been lobbying the British government to intervene on his father’s behalf.

 

Lai’s wife Teresa and family attended court, while Joseph Zen, a 92-year-old cardinal arrested under the NSL, is out on bail. Pro-democracy activist Alexandra Wong, known as Grandma Wong, staged a protest outside the courthouse, expressing support for Lai.