Jailed Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 6 others charged with sedition

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Dec. 28 (UPI) — Former Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai now faces a charge of sedition after prosecutors said Tuesday that his former newspaper published seditious materials that promoted independence for the Chinese-controlled island.

Lai, 74, has been in jail on other charges that prosecutors say violated Beijing’s controversial national security law. His newspaper, Apple Daily, was shut down in June after it was raided by authorities.

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Now, Lai faces a charge of seditious publications for content that appeared in Apple Daily from 2019 to 2021.

Six former employees were also charged with related conspiracy, for supposedly conspiring to collude with foreign powers.

Lai’s newspaper was a voice for dissent during the 2019 anti-government protests. He’s serving 20 months in prison for his involvement in a banned Tiananmen Square vigil last year.

Lai and the other six are accused of printing, publishing, selling, distributing and displaying seditious publications with the intent of bringing hatred against the Chinese and Hong Kong governments.

Prosecutors say the newspaper requested a foreign country or organization to impose sanctions or a blockade against Hong Kong.

Lai and the others could face a life sentence on the charges.

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Beijing’s national security law was enacted last year to fight terrorism and any dissent that’s deemed to be counter to the interests of China and Hong Kong.