US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (File Photo)
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo (File Photo)

Pompeo slams China for charging Jimmy Lai under National Security Law

ANI | Updated: Dec 12, 2020 11:40 IST

Washington [US], December 12 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Michael Pompeo slammed China for charging Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai under the draconian National Security Law and demanded that charges must be dropped.
Pompeo further went on to accuse the Chinese Communist Party of its authoritarian rule and making a mockery of the justice in the region.
"Hong Kong's National Security Law makes a mockery of justice. @JimmyLaiApple's only "crime" is speaking the truth about the Chinese Communist Party's authoritarianism and fear of freedom. Charges should be dropped and he should be released immediately,' Pompeo tweeted.
Jimmy Lai is set to appear in West Kowloon Court on Saturday after being charged with colluding with foreign powers under the Beijing-imposed national security law, an offense that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, reported South China Morning Post.
Earlier, Lai, the founder of the Apple Daily newspaper was reported to have been charged with fraud and then denied bail. In August 2020, the tycoon was arrested under the new National Security Law.
The charge stems from comments Lai purportedly made on Twitter and in interviews asking foreign countries to sanction the city.
This comes after a number of former pro-democracy lawmakers were arrested in the month of October over protests after the draconian National Security Law was imposed on the city by Beijing.
The law criminalizes secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. It came into effect from July 1.
Several of those disqualified were sitting lawmakers, who were subsequently ejected from the parliament by Beijing overruling constitutional precedent and bypassing Hong Kong's courts on November 11, sparking the mass resignation of the entire pro-democratic camp. (ANI)