Rifkind: Jimmy Lai sentencing is Beijing justice

The former UK foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has condemned the sentencing of pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai to 14 months in prison after being found guilty of unauthorised assembly.

Sir Malcolm told BBC World News: “It can best be described as rule by law, not rule of law. This is essentially Beijing justice. Not Hong Kong…

“These demonstrations took place two years ago in 2019. There were no charges brought at that time. They could easily have been brought at that time.”

Mr Lai was one of several activists in court on Friday who were earlier found guilty of charges relating to large pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was UK foreign secretary in 1997 when Hong Kong was handed over to China under the notion of “one country, two systems”, which was intended to guarantee that Hong Kong’s economic and political systems would not be changed for 50 years after the British handover.

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