More than 100 journalists from 42 countries demanded the release of Hong Kong press magnate Jimmy Lai

Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily, speaks during an interview to respond to national security legislation in Hong Kong, China May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File ( TYRONE SIU/)

More than a hundred people in charge of media from 42 countriesamong which there are two Nobel laureatesclaim the Release of Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Laiwhose imprisonment is directly linked to his activity in favor of press freedom in that Chinese territory.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) published a statement on Tuesday in which it includes the message of the 116 “media leaders” who sign the statement in support of Jimmy Lai and stresses that the founder of the newspaper Apple Daily has worked for the past 25 years “to defend the values ​​of freedom of expression and of the press”.

The businessman, who is 75 years old, has been in prison since 2020. He has been convicted of participating in pro-democracy protests unauthorized by the authorities and for fraud (for authorizing a consultant to operate in the offices of their newspaper).

Now he faces a possible sentence to life imprisonment for another trial due to start in September for violating a national security law.

Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal in a prison van in Hong Kong, China February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File
Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal in a prison van in Hong Kong, China, on February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File (Tyrone Siu/)

In their statement, the media leaders gathered by RSF insist on the idea that “he has been persecuted for publishing independent information” and condemn all the charges against him.

They also demand the release of the 13 journalists currently detained in Hong Kong and are calling for the charges against the 28 journalists indicted in the past three years under national security laws and similar regulations to be dropped.

Among those who subscribe to the text are the two Nobel Peace Prize winners of 2021, the Russian Dmitri Muratov and the filipina Maria Resa.

(With information from EFE)

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