Hong Kong authorities rejects petition calling for Jimmy Lai’s launch – JURIST

The Hong Kong authorities rejected on Thursday a petition from ten abroad Catholic Church leaders that referred to as for the speedy and unconditional launch of pro-democracy activist and media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai from jail. The federal government said that the Catholic leaders made slanderous statements about Hong Kong and inappropriately intervened in Hong Kong’s inside affairs.

The petition was launched on November 1 by ten bishops of the Catholic Church that hail from varied nations, together with the US, Australia, India and Nigeria. In urging the Hong Kong authorities to launch 75-year-old Lai from jail, the petition recommended that Lai ought to now not be persecuted for supporting pro-democracy causes. It additionally said, “There isn’t a place for such cruelty and oppression in a territory that claims to uphold the rule of legislation and respect the appropriate to freedom of expression.”

Nevertheless, the Hong Kong authorities rejected the petition and described it as “deceptive and slanderous.” The federal government wrote:

Any particular person, no matter his or her id, who makes an attempt to intervene with the judicial proceedings in [Hong Kong] to be able to procure a defendant’s evasion of the prison justice course of, is blatantly undermining the rule of legislation of [Hong Kong] … The [Hong Kong government] strongly urges the overseas Catholic leaders to discern info from fallacies, and instantly cease interfering in [Hong Kong’s] inside affairs and the [Hong Kong] courts’ unbiased train of judicial energy.

Secretary for Justice Paul Lam Ting-kwok said on Friday that the petition breached the elemental spirit of the rule of legislation by trying to intervene with Hong Kong’s judicial system. He asserted that the petition will unite Hong Kong’s authorized and judicial communities and that Hong Kong’s authorized system will proceed to function in respect of the rule of legislation.

Hong Kong’s District Court docket sentenced Lai to virtually six years in jail on December 10, 2022 over fraud fees. He was already serving a 20-month jail sentence for taking part in a vigil that commemorated the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. bloodbath then.

Lai is scheduled to face trial on the Excessive Court docket on December 18 over Nationwide Safety Regulation fees. On Might 19, the Excessive Court docket dismissed an try by Lai to overturn a choice that prohibited his British lawyer from representing him in his Nationwide Safety Regulation trials.

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