17th May 2023
By Wendy Collinson

Statement: 116 media leaders from 42 countries call for the release of Jimmy Lai

“We, as publishers and editors of news media organisations from around the world, are united in support of Apple Daily founder and publisher Jimmy Lai, and his fight for media pluralism and press freedom in Hong Kong.

Jimmy Lai has stood for these values his entire life, and founded Apple Daily to ensure that the people of Hong Kong had access to vital independent information. In a tremendous act of courage, he chose to stay in Hong Kong and continued to publish as long as he could, despite the severe crackdown taking place around him.

Now it is our turn to stand up for Jimmy Lai, whose detention serves only to damage the reputation of the authorities in both China and Hong Kong. The arbitrary charges against him are clear violations of Chinese, Hong Kong, and international law.

In targeting this 75 year-old press freedom emblem, the Chinese regime has taken its attempts to control information beyond its borders, and made it a concern for the entire world. When press freedom is threatened anywhere, it is threatened everywhere.

Together with Reporters Without Borders (RSF), we stand with Jimmy Lai. We believe he has been targeted for publishing independent reporting, and we condemn all charges against him. We call for his immediate release, for the national security charges against him to be dropped, and for his convictions on other charges to be overturned.

We note that the case against Jimmy Lai takes place as part of a broader press freedom crackdown in Hong Kong, and are deeply concerned by the rapid deterioration of Hong Kong’s press freedom climate, as reflected in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index.

We call for the immediate release of all 13 of the currently detained journalists, and for any remaining charges against all 28 journalists targeted under national security and other laws over the past three years to be dropped.

We also call for immediate steps to allow for the reinstatement of media that have been forced to close, including Apple Daily and Stand News, which have served as devastating blows to media freedom in Hong Kong.

The universal right to press freedom must be protected for the people of Hong Kong and around the world.”


Margarita Akhvlediani, Programme Director, GO Group Media/JAMnews (Armenia)

Almedin Šišić, Editor-in-Chief, Valterportal.ba (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

Natália Viana, Director Agência Pública (Brazil)

Emmanuel Ekouli, Director of Publication, La Voix du Centre (Cameroon)

Haman Manan, Director of Publication, Le Jour (Cameroon)

Wei Liu, Representative, Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch (China)

Qiang Xiao, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, China Digital Times (China)

Arturo Torres, Director, Código Vidrio (Ecuador)

Hossein Bahgat, Editor-in-Chief, Masr 360 (Egypt)

Nora Younis, Editor-in-Chief, AlManassa (Egypt)

Dov Alfon, Publication and Editorial Director, Libération (France)

Franck Annese, Editorial Director, Society (France)

Alexis Brézet, Editorial Director, Le Figaro (France)

Jérôme Chapuis, Editorial Director, La Croix (France)

Eric Chol, Editorial Director, L’Express (France)

​​Jérome Fenoglio, Director, Le Monde (France)

Luc Hermann, Co-Director, Premières Lignes (France)

Paul Moreira, Co-Director, Premières Lignes (France)

Françoise Joly, Information Director, TV5MONDE (France)

Edwy Plenel, President and CEO, Mediapart (France)

Natacha Polony, Editorial Director, Marianne (France)

Cécile Prieur, Editorial Director, L’Obs (France)

Laurent Richard, Director, Forbidden Stories (France)

Guy Pierre Biteghe, Director of Publication, Le Mbandja (Gabon)

Boris Biyoghe, Director of Publication, Le Temps (Gabon)

Désiré Ename, Director of Publication, Echos du nord (Gabon)

Sydney Ivembi, Editor-in-Chief, Gabonactu.com (Gabon)

Isaac Mackanga, Director General, Afrik direct (Gabon)

Louba Karl Randy, Director of Publication, La Loupe (Gabon)

Franck Charly Mandoukou, Director of Publication, Gabon Infos (Gabon)

Pap Saine, Publisher, The Point (Gambia)

Nestan Tsetskhladze, Editor-in-Chief, netgazeti.ge (Georgia)

Wolfgang Krach, Editor-in-Chief, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

Judith Wittwer, Editor-in-Chief, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

Jennifer Wilton, Editor-in-Chief, Die Welt (Germany)

Ulrike Winkelmann, Editor-in-Chief, Taz (Germany)

Finn Lau, Executive Director, The Points (Hong Kong)

Szabolcs Dull, Editor-in-Chief, Telex.hu (Hungary)

Aditya Raj Kaul, Executive Editor, TV9 Network (India)

Meena Kotwal, Editor and Founder, The Mooknayak (India)

Abhishek Mukherjee, Head of Content, Wisden India (India)

Pooja Prasanna, Editorial Head (Reporting), The News Minute (India)

Pratik Sinha, Founder and Editor, Alt News (India)

Davide Varì, Director, Il Dubbio (Italy)

Elsy Moufarrej, Coordinator, Alternative Press Syndicate (Lebanon)

Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, Founder & Managing Director, New Naratif (Malaysia)

Adama Drame, Director of Publication, Sphinx (Mali)

Caroline Muscat, Founder and Editor, The Shift News (Malta)

Carmen Aristegui, Director of Aristegui Noticias (Mexico)

Ismael Bojórquez, Director, RioDoce (Mexico)

Carlos Padilla, Director, Revista Zócalo (Mexico)

Batbold Erdenechimeg, Editor, Mongol Content (Mongolia)

Ariunbileg Oyunbilegt, Editor-in-Chief, mPress.mn (Mongolia)

Shinebayar Tanya, Founder, dens.mn (Mongolia)

Ankhzul Tseden, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, tsahiur.mn (Mongolia)

Aye Chan Naing, Executive Director/Chief Editor, Democratic Voice of Burma (Myanmar)

Dr. David Robie, Managing Editor, Asia Pacific Report and Pacific Media Watch (New


Dr. Amaechi Anakwue, Head of Current Affairs, African Independent Television and

Raypower FM (Nigeria)

Agba Jalingo, Publisher, CrossRiverWatch (Nigeria)

Samuel Ogundipe, Managing Editor, Peoples Gazette (Nigeria)

Mabel Cáceres, Director, El Buho (Peru)

Beth Frondoso, Co-Founder, Rappler (Philippines)

Glenda Gloria, Co-Founder, Rappler (Philippines)

Chay Hofileña, Co-Founder, Rappler (Philippines)

Maria Ressa, Co-Founder, Rappler (Philippines)

Bogusław Chrabota, Editor-in-Chief, Rzeczpospolita (Poland)

Catalin Tolontan, Editor-in-Chief, Libertatea (Romania)

Roman Anin, Editor, Important Stories (Russia)

Daniil Beilinson, Co-founder, OVD-Info (Russia)

Abdulla Duduyev, Editor-in-Chief, Dosh (Russia)

Dmitry Muratov, Editor-in-Chief, Novaya Gazeta (Russia)

Elizaveta Osetinskaya, Founder, The Bell (Russia)

Malick Abubakr Hamid Diallo, Director of Publication, Afrik.com (Senegal)

Beata Balogova, Editor-in-Chief, Sme (Slovakia)

Christoffer Ahlqist, Editor-in-Chief, Göteborgs-Posten (Sweden)

Klas Granström, Editor-in-Chief, Expressen (Sweden)

Erik Halkjaer, Editor-in-Chief, Sveriges Natur (Sweden)

Jonas Kanje, Editor-in-Chief, Sydsvenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

Erik Larsson, Editor-in-Chief, OmVärlden (Sweden)

Julia Nilsson, Editor-in-Chief, Journalisten (Sweden)

Lena Samuelsson, Editor-in-Chief, Aftonbladet (Sweden)

Lis Borner, Editor-in-Chief, Radio, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF (Switzerland)

Adrian Zurbriggen, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland)

Jenjey Chen, Editor-in-Chief, Central News Agency (Taiwan)

Arthur Cheng, Former Deputy Chief Editor, Taiwan Apple Daily (Taiwan)

Patience Chuang, Editor-in-Chief, Spring Hill Publishing (Taiwan)

Cheryl Lai, Chairperson, Radio Taiwan International (Taiwan)

Chi-Fung Liao, Publisher, Asian Culture Publishing (Taiwan)

Hung Tak Wai, Editor-in-Chief, 1841 Publishing House (Taiwan)

Yeshe Choesang, Managing Editor, The Tibet Post International (Tibet)

Murat İnceoğlu, Editor-in-Chief, Bianet (Turkey)

Fatih Polat, Editor-in-Chief, Evrensel (Turkey)

Sevgil Musaieva, Editor-in-Chief, Ukrainska Pravda (Ukraine)

Dawn Alford, Executive Director, Society of Editors (UK)

Richard Best, Managing Editor, The Independent (UK)

Geordie Greig, Editor-in-Chief, The Independent (UK)

Oliver Duff, Editor-in-Chief, iNews (UK)

Chris Evans, Editor, The Telegraph (UK)

Tony Gallagher, Editor, The Times (UK)

Gary Jones, Editor, Daily Express (UK)

Neil McIntosh, Editor, The Scotsman (UK)

Victoria Newton, Editor-in-Chief, The Sun (UK)

Alison Phillips, Editor, Daily Mirror (UK)

Dominic Ponsford, Editor-in-Chief, Press Gazette (UK)

Ted Verity, Editor, Mail newspapers (UK)

Katharine Viner, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian News & Media (UK)

Paul Webster, Editor, The Observer (UK)

Aidan White, Founder, Ethical Journalism Network (UK)

Fred Ryan, Publisher and CEO, The Washington Post (USA)

Matthew Kaminski, Editor-in-Chief, Politico (USA)

Goli Sheikholeslami, CEO, Politico (USA)

William McCarren, Executive Director, National Press Club (USA)

A.G.Sulzberger, Publisher, The New York Times (USA)

Aleksey Volosevich, Founder and Editor of AsiaTerra (Uzbekistan)

Omar Lugo, Director, El Estímulo (Venezuela)

César Batiz, Director, El Pitazo (Venezuela)

Featured image: Photo by Mike CLARKE / AFP