Jimmy Lai’s Offense: Tweets and Op-eds

Jimmy Lai’s Offense: Tweets and Op-eds


One month into Jimmy Lai’s trial, and the national security case against him boils down to this: The publisher posted tweets, supported local democrats and was in touch with human-rights leaders and former U.S. officials who shared his concerns that Hong Kong’s freedoms were being eroded. That’s it.

When a man is facing lifetime imprisonment for threatening national security, you’d expect him to be accused of selling state secrets or plotting to assassinate someone. Instead Hong Kong has criminalized Mr. Lai’s calls to uphold freedom and the rule of law. He also urged the U.S. to use diplomatic pressure on China, including sanctions. None of these are secret conspiracies: Almost all of what Mr. Lai advocated was in public.

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