The son of Hong Kong publisher Jimmy Lai, a devout Catholic and prominent democracy advocate currently awaiting trial in Hong Kong for charges including conspiracy to print seditious publications, will speak on campus on August 28 at 6 p.m.
Sebastien Lai has led an international campaign to secure his father Jimmy’s release since authorities arrested him in 2020 and shut down his pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily in 2021.
Sebastien spoke on his father’s imprisonment to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in May and, most recently, delivered an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June that was interrupted by a Chinese diplomat.
“My father is in prison because he spoke truth to power for decades,” Sebastien told U.S. lawmakers in May.
“He is still speaking truth to power and refusing to be silenced, even though he has lost everything and he may die in prison. I am very proud to be his son.”
Sebastien has accepted a number of awards on his father’s behalf, including the WAN-IFRA Golden Pen of Freedom and an honorary degree from the Catholic University of America.
Jimmy’s arrest was authorized by a Beijing security law imposed in response to the pro-democracy protests that began to flourish in 2019. Jimmy was also previously convicted of organizing and participating in an unauthorized assembly.
Sebastien will hold a discussion with Ellen Bork, George W. Bush Institute fellow and daughter of the late jurist Robert Bork, and Jonathan Price, a member of Jimmy’s international legal team.