U.S. Department of State
MATTHEW MILLER, DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON
DECEMBER 17, 2023
The United States condemns the prosecution of pro-democracy advocate and media owner Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong under the PRC-imposed National Security Law. Lai has been held in pre-trial detention for more than 1,000 days, and Hong Kong and Beijing authorities have denied him his choice of legal representation.
We urge Beijing and Hong Kong authorities to respect press freedom in Hong Kong. Actions that stifle press freedom and restrict the free flow of information – as well as Beijing and local authorities’ changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system that reduce direct voting and preclude independent and pro-democracy party candidates from participating – have undermined Hong Kong’s democratic institutions and harmed Hong Kong’s reputation as an international business and financial hub.
We call on Hong Kong authorities to immediately release Jimmy Lai and all others imprisoned for defending their rights.