Jimmy Lai, founder of the now-shuttered pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, arrives at the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong, China in February 2021. CPJ submitted evidence of press freedom decline in Hong Kong to a UK parliamentary group in March 2023. (Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

CPJ submits evidence on Hong Kong media freedom to UK parliamentary group

Hong Kong has seen a dramatic decline in media freedom since Beijing implemented a national security law on June 30, 2020, with a significant impact on the city’s freedom of expression and media pluralism, which saw journalists arrested, jailed, and threatened, according to evidence CPJ submitted earlier this month to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in Britain.

CPJ recommended that APPG members send an urgent appeal to the Hong Kong government to request the release of Jimmy Lai and other imprisoned journalists and seek British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s immediate action to secure Lai’s release.

Lai, a British citizen and the founder of the now-shuttered pro-democracy Hong Kong newspaper, Apple Daily, has been behind bars since December 2020. He is serving a sentence of five years and nine months on fraud charges and is awaiting trial on national security charges, due to start in September 2023, which could jail him for life. 

The APPG on Hong Kong is a cross-party group with no official Parliament status formed in November 2019 in response to the political and social crisis in Hong Kong. The APPG’s inquiry is often used to advise the government.

Read the complete inquiry submission here.