Letters to Jimmy Lai | National Review

Letters to Jimmy Lai | National Review

Jimmy Lai, Hong Kong’s formidable pro-democracy mogul, has been imprisoned for a bit over a year now. He turns 74 today, and Mark Simon, a longtime executive at Lai’s Apple Daily newspaper (which the city’s CCP-backed authorities took down earlier this year) has penned an open letter about his friend and former boss:

Jimmy Lai is in jail because he believes in freedom, because he believes in a free press, because he believes in religious freedom, because he believes in an individual’s economic freedoms, and most of all because Jimmy Lai believes no man or woman reigns above others.

Jimmy has always understood that tyrants have to wipe out all freedoms to enforce their control over others. More than a few times he told me that what we have to defend at Apple Daily is not just one freedom, but rather a “basket of freedoms”.  We defend one kind of freedom to protect all freedoms . . .

For years Jimmy knew it would be his end if the communists took full control of Hong Kong.  Dozens of times he told me he knew he would go to jail. When I would protest he should get out, and others told him to leave, his response was always the same. I can’t leave the people of Hong Kong.

I miss my friend. I miss our talks. I am in agony for his family.  I cannot write Jimmy as I am wanted and my letters never seem to make it through. Yet I know he treasures hearing from friends both old and new. It’s my hope that as many of you as possible will take the time to do something very rare these days, post a letter. Please post my friend a letter. Let him know you will use your freedom to try to secure his.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.