On the 2 January 2024 the trial of Jimmy Lai took an unexpected twist when prosecutors in Hong Kong publicly accused two high profile UK citizens, Luke De Pulford, founder of the Inter Parliamentary Alliance on China and Bill Browder, who spearheads the Global Magnitsky Campaign of colluding with the accused in Mr Lai's trial. In a highly politically charged case Mr Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, is accused under sweeping national security laws recently introduced by China of publishing seditious articles and conspiring with foreign forces to compromise national security.
Red Notice Monitor can now confirm that lawyers acting for both men (who also serve as editors of this blog) have now filed a request to the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files (CCF) asking Interpol not to act on any diffusions, alerts or Red Notices issued by the Hong Kong authorities against them.
Interpol's constitution prohibits the organisation from any form of political activity. The letter of representations points out the accusations against de Pulford and Browder are widely viewed as politically motivated, especially given their timing during Lai's ongoing trial. It refers to various statements from the UK Government, EU authorities, the US State Department, US Congress, and numerous human rights organizations criticising the political and arbitrary nature of Jimmy Lai's trial.
Interpol has been asked to publicly confirm that no data about de Pulford and Browder is stored or processed and to proactively block any related requests, including those from Hong Kong and Russian authorities who might misuse Interpol's communication channels. Notably, Russian authorities have repeatedly attempted to misuse Interpol's communication channels against Browder.
No response has been received from Interpol since the letters were submitted to the CCF on 11 January 2024.