HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is defending the freezing of pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai’s assets as a necessary move under the city’s new national security law to protect the safety of all Chinese people. Lam said the move was authorized under the sweeping law that was imposed on the city by Beijing last year. She told reporters the move meant “the Hong Kong government is very serious and rigorous when dealing with national security.” The Hong Kong stock exchange halted trading of Next Digital shares Monday at the media company’s request. Lai has been a high-profile voice in the the territory’s pro-democracy movement and is in prison for participating in unauthorized assemblies in 2019.
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