Hong Kong-based media entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was arrested by police in Hong Kong on the morning of Monday, August 10. Lai has been charged with "collusion with foreign powers," according to Next Digital executive and Lai's aide Mark Simon.
Rev. Robert Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, has released the follow statement on the incident:
As expected, Hong Kong media entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was arrested Monday morning by police in Hong Kong under the guise of a recently passed so-called “national security law.” The newsroom and offices of his publication, Apple Daily, were also raided by police.
I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Lai and his family for more than two decades. His compelling story is told in The Call of the Entrepreneur, where he relates his journey from mainland China to Hong Kong as a 12-year old boy, learned English, and would eventually build one of the most significant media enterprises in Asia.
Mr. Lai’s business acumen and intelligence were permitted to flourish under the reign of freedom and liberty in Hong Kong. This reality is inevitably a threat to totalitarians like the Chinese Communist Party who fear human liberty and its creativity because it flies in the face of centralized control over the hearts and minds of people.
I am confident, knowing Mr. Lai as I do, that these tactics will not intimidate him one bit.
When I spoke to him in June to interview him for Acton University, he fully expected this would happen, and is prepared to pay whatever cost is required for the sake of freedom.
People who love freedom and who are committed to the defense of human rights should speak out forcefully against this blatant and egregious attack, not only on Mr. Lai and his family, but on basic human dignity and the freedom that this human dignity requires.
Jimmy Lai is a man of extraordinary faith, conviction and strength. He, his family, and his beloved Hong Kong need our prayers now.