Hong Kong pro-democracy mogul Jimmy Lai arrested

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Jimmy Lai said “the establishment hated my guts” and was ready to go to jail


Hong Kong pro-democracy mogul Jimmy Lai has been arrested for alleged collusion with foreign forces, his aide said.

Mark Simon said the businessman was being held under China’s controversial national security law in June.

Mr. Lai supported the pro-democracy protests that erupted in Hong Kong last year.

In February, the 71-year-old mogul was charged with illegal assembly and intimidation. He was then released on bail by the police.

  • Hong Kong security law: what is it and is it worrying?

“Jimmy Lai is currently under arrest for colluding with foreign powers,” said Mr. Simon, an executive at Mr. Lai’s Next Digital media company.

Hong Kong officials have so far made no public comment on the matter.

Who is Jimmy Lai?

Mr Lai is estimated to be worth over $ 1 billion (£ 766million).

The newspaper he founded, Apple Daily, frequently criticizes Hong Kong and the Chinese leadership.

“The establishment hates my guts,” Mr. Lai said in an interview with The New York Times. “They think I’m a troublemaker. “

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Media captionJimmy Lai: Chinese Security Law “Spells The End Of Hong Kong”

And on June 30, when the security law was passed, the businessman told the BBC that it “spelled the end of Hong Kong.”

He warned that Hong Kong would become as corrupt as mainland China because “without the rule of law people who do business here will have no protection.”

In a separate interview with the AFP news agency, Mr. Lai said: “I am ready for prison. If this happens, I will have the opportunity to read books that I have not read. The only thing I can do is be positive. . ”

What is the new security law?

The law facilitates the punishment of demonstrators and reduces Hong Kong’s autonomy.

It also gives Beijing the power to shape life in the former British colony in a way it has never had before.

Critics say it effectively curbs protests and freedom of speech – China has said the new law will restore stability to the territory.

The main provisions of the law include that the crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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