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World News

Britain says deeply concerned by Hong Kong arrest of media tycoon

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain accused China of using a national security law as a pretext to silence opposition after the Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai became the highest-profile person arrested under the new rule.

“This is further evidence that the national security law is being used as a pretext to silence opposition. The Hong Kong authorities must uphold the rights and freedoms of its people,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said.

“We are deeply concerned by the arrest of Jimmy Lai and six other individuals in Hong Kong. Freedom of the press is explicitly guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and basic law, and is supposed to be protected under Article Four of the National Security Law.”

Mainland-born Lai has been one of the most prominent democracy activists in the Chinese-ruled city and an ardent critic of Beijing.

Reporting by William James, writing by Kate Holton, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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