Remember Jimmy Rye?


Remember Jimmy Lai, the successful Hong Kong businessman who founded the Giordano fashion chain and subsequently the Apple Daily Media company?

Jimmy Lai has been in prison since December 31, 2020.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants you to forget all about Jimmy Lai. I can’t see it, I don’t care

Lai’s life is a “rags to riches” story. After fleeing China as a stowaway on a boat when he was just 12, Lai began working in the harsh conditions of a clothing factory.

After being promoted to factory manager, he started his own clothing business, which eventually became the highly successful Giordano fashion chain.

After the Tiananmen incident, Lai launched Next magazine, which became the most popular magazine in Hong Kong.

Epoch Times photo
Press freedom protesters hold up copies of Apple Daily inside a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Aug. 11, 2020. (Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images)

read by the middle class. Weekly magazines appealed to supporters of economic and political freedom.

Its sister publication, Sudden Weekly, also attracted a devoted readership.

In 1995, Mr. Lai launched the Apple Daily, an editorially pro-democratic editorial, to the ire of the Communist regime. By Hong Kong standards, the newspaper was a racy tabloid.

It has become the largest pro-democracy, Chinese-language, high-circulation daily newspaper in Hong Kong. However, it was closed by the Chinese Communist Party in June 2021.

imprisoned for freedom

Lai was jailed in December 2020 while awaiting trial on various charges. He was briefly released on bail, but this was overturned and he has been in jail since the end of December 2020.

Last December, he was sentenced to more than five years in prison for a series of false fraud charges, lit candles, offered prayers to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre, and participated in peaceful protests. He has already served two other sentences, including for

The CCP has gone to great lengths to keep Lai in prison. He is currently awaiting trial on charges of violating the National Security Act, which will ultimately be handed down next September.

The law is a vaguely worded and rigid provision that allows the administration to claim almost any action as a violation of national security.

The administration was so desperate that it sought to ban Rye’s chief legal counsel, Tim Owen of the London KC, with a hoaxed proposal that Rye’s agents would endanger national security.

A final court of appeals in Hong Kong confirmed Owen’s representation, and the administration appealed to Beijing to overturn the court.

In reality, any reference to national security is a cover for allowing the administration to do whatever it pleases, in this case making an example of Jimmy Rye and imprisoning him for life.

Hong Kong
On August 10, 2020, in Hong Kong, China, media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of Apple Daily, has been detained by the National Security Agency. (Tyrone Siu TPX Images of the day/Reuters)

The CCP’s claims of upholding the rule of law are absurd. Only in a totalitarian state like China could we believe that the rule of law would apply.

Lai’s story is told in the documentary film ‘The Hong Konger’. The book, produced by the Acton Institute, reveals that Rye became a Catholic in 1997.

The 75-year-old, who had a British passport, could have left Hong Kong before he was arrested, but he chose to stay and fight for freedom and liberty.

A friend of his, William McGahn, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, said: His publications told the truth about China and Hong Kong. ”

Various individuals and organizations have spoken out for Rai, but one voice has remained silent. Pope Francis.

Lai’s friend, Cardinal Joseph Zeng, who is also persecuted by the Communist regime, appealed to the Pope, but to this day, the Vatican has shown more interest, despite the blatant breach of its secret pact with the Chinese Communist Party. seems to be

no one is safe

Meanwhile, Australian journalist Chen Lei also remains in custody.

The former anchor of state television station CGTN was detained in August 2020 and subsequently charged with “giving state secrets abroad.”

Epoch Times photo
Australian journalist Chen Lei is on television in Beijing, China. This still image was taken from an undated video footage. (Distributed by Australia Global Alumni-Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade/Reuters)

Fee details have not been provided to Australian authorities. Public hearings also lacked transparency, and embassy officials were barred under the pretense that “state secrets” were involved in the proceedings.

No foreigner is safe in China. Both the police and the judiciary are branches of the Chinese Communist Party.

We can’t forget Jimmy Lai and Cheng Lei. Their treatment should be condemned by all defenders of human dignity and liberty.

Views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Epoch Times.