Below is an excerpt from an op-ed by Roger Ream that originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. You can find the entire article in The Wall Street Journal here.
Jimmy Lai, one of the most vocal advocates for democracy and rule of law in China’s history, was sentenced to 69 months in prison on Dec. 10, 2022. His crime? It depends who you ask.
Officially, his sentencing was for lease violations in connection with his newspaper, Apple Daily. He also still awaits trial on charges of national-security law violations and conspiracy to print seditious publications.
But Mr. Lai’s only crime was standing up against the authoritarian takeover of Hong Kong, which was in violation of China’s treaty agreements. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement received widespread support from young and old alike, and the Chinese press was the critical link unifying the movement by breaking news, sharing events and mobilizing the public. Apple Daily, Mr. Lai’s pro-democracy newspaper, was at the center of it—which put a target on Jimmy Lai’s back.