Jimmy Lai, a media entrepreneur and Catholic pro-democracy advocate in Hong Kong, was given the ‘Christifidelis Laici’ award on Sept. 14.
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NEWS ANALYSIS: Charting a course between placating China’s communist regime while remaining attentive to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement will not be an easy challenge.
The Catholic pro-democracy activist, who is the founder of the Apple Daily media group, was sentenced today for his participation in two demonstrations in 2019.
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, has warned that Lai’s arrest shows a rise in “political intimidation” against journalists in Hong Kong, part of a systematic erosion of basic freedoms, including religious freedom, by the Chinese government in recent months.
Lai was charged Dec 2. with breaching the terms of a lease by his company Next Digital Media.
Lai, a Catholic, said he has supported the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement for the past 30 years, because of "the Lord's teaching that your life is not about yourself."
Journalist Bill McGurn, godfather of Jimmy Lai, said he thinks it is very likely that his godson will ultimately go to prison, and he thinks China will want to make an example of Lai— a prominent figure being marched out in handcuffs— in order to frighten people into compliance.