“After spending over three years in jail, 76-year-old Jimmy Lai faced trial for treason in a Hong Kong courtroom.

Thin and gaunt, the democracy advocate, labeled an ‘anti-China element’ by Beijing, denied all charges, emphasizing his defense of Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Despite official claims of a fair trial, concerns persist about eroding rule of law in the city under Beijing’s influence. Lai, arrested as part of a broader crackdown on national security threats, symbolizes the drastic changes in Hong Kong, with critics pointing to a compromised legal system and limited freedoms.

The National Security Law’s impact is evident, as Lai, denied bail, jury, and his chosen lawyer, challenges the presumption against bail for those charged under the law.

Critics argue that the 100% conviction rate in NSL cases reflects a compromised justice system, causing concern among legal professionals and the international community.

As Hong Kong faces a wave of departures, including lawyers and judges, the city grapples with the erosion of political freedoms promised in the handover from Britain to China in 1997.

The ongoing trial highlights the complex challenges to Hong Kong’s autonomy and the preservation of basic rights.” (Credit to BBC as the source)

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