Acton Institute Powerblog

Pro-democracy media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai arrested in Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based media entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was arrested by police in Hong Kong on the morning of Monday, August 10. Lai has been charged with “collusion with foreign powers,” according to Next Digital executive and Lai’s aide Mark Simon.

Rev. Robert Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, has released the follow statement on the incident:

As expected, Hong Kong media entrepreneur and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was arrested Monday morning by police in Hong Kong under the guise of a recently passed so-called “national security law.” The newsroom and offices of his publication, Apple Daily, were also raided by police.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Lai and his family for more than two decades. His compelling story is told in The Call of the Entrepreneur, where he relates his journey from mainland China to Hong Kong as a 12-year old boy, learned English, and would eventually build one of the most significant media enterprises in Asia.

Mr. Lai’s business acumen and intelligence were permitted to flourish under the reign of freedom and liberty in Hong Kong. This reality is inevitably a threat to totalitarians like the Chinese Communist Party who fear human liberty and its creativity because it flies in the face of centralized control over the hearts and minds of people.

I am confident, knowing Mr. Lai as I do, that these tactics will not intimidate him one bit.

When I spoke to him in June to interview him for Acton University, he fully expected this would happen, and is prepared to pay whatever cost is required for the sake of freedom.

People who love freedom and who are committed to the defense of human rights should speak out forcefully against this blatant and egregious attack, not only on Mr. Lai and his family, but on basic human dignity and the freedom that this human dignity requires.

Jimmy Lai is a man of extraordinary faith, conviction and strength. He, his family, and his beloved Hong Kong need our prayers now.

Rev. Sirico interview with Jimmy Lai from Acton University Online – June 18, 2020

The Call of the Entrepreneur – Official Trailer

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is director of communications at the Acton Institute. In that role, he works to bring Acton's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles to a wider audience. Prior to joining Acton, Eric was director of community management at the Illinois Policy Institute, one of the nation's premier state-based think tanks. He was also the founder and CEO of Curious Task Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. Eric is the leader of the Chicago chapter of America’s Future Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of classical liberal leaders in Chicago. Along with Joe Kaiser, Eric hosts Sources with Knowledge, which airs Sundays at 3pm on News/Talk 560 The Answer in Chicago and is available on numerous podcast feeds. He previously hosted The Eric Kohn Program on 1530-AM WJJG, and has guest-hosted the nationally syndicated The Guy Benson Show, Illinois Watchdog Radio on Cities 92.9FM in Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago’s Morning Answer on News/Talk 560 The Answer. He has appeared as a commentator on Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont, Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, The Michael Koolidge Show, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and numerous news broadcasts in the Chicagoland area. Eric’s writings have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Belleville News-Democrat and other publications. Eric grew up in Belleville, Ill., and is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.