What is an APPG inquiry?
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, in order to discuss and take action on topics and countries of interest.
APPGs may undertake inquiries on particular areas of interest in order to collect evidence for the purposes of answering their designed question. Their conclusive inquiry is often used to advise government.
About the APPG on Hong Kong
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong was formed in November 2019, in response to the acute political and social crisis in Hong Kong, and re-launched in January 2020. Its purpose is "to promote democracy and the rule of law, and to defend human rights in Hong Kong, to share information about Hong Kong, and to nurture relations between the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong".
The APPG's inquiries reflect the unique relationship that the United Kingdom holds with Hong Kong. Having signed the British-Sino Joint Declaration alongside the People's Republic of China, the UK has a legal, historical and moral duty to ensure the city retains its legislative and political freedoms from mainland China and that its people are safe.
Inquiry into Media freedom in Hong Kong: the case of Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily
In February 2023, The APPG on Hong Kong decided to undertake an inquiry into media freedom in Hong Kong, with a focus on the case of Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily.
The inquiry will also consider the impact the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguard on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong and Special Administrative Region 2020 ("NSL") has had on freedom of expression and media pluralism in Hong Kong.
Jimmy Lai is a 75-year-old British citizen based in Hong Kong, and the founder of Apple Daily, one of Hong Kong’s most popular newspapers until its closure in June 2021. Mr Lai was arrested in August 2020, alongside six others, on suspicion of “collusion with foreign forces” and conspiracy to commit fraud.
He was initially granted bail but has been in prison continuously since December 2020. Since that time he has had a number of convictions linked to the 2019-2020 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong; a separate conviction for a lease violation; and he is awaiting trial on charges of sedition and collusion with foreign forces under the NSL, based on publications in Apple Daily and pro-democracy campaign work.
Scope of the inquiry:
The APPG on Hong Kong invites submissions supported by evidence and where possible, specific examples, assessing the following:
impact of the NSL on freedom of expression and media pluralism in Hong Kong;
what the legal and administrative actions taken against Jimmy Lai and Apple Daily mean for freedom of expression in Hong Kong; and
implications the legal and administrative actions taken against Apple Daily and Jimmy Lai have for businesses operating in Hong Kong
Other matters of relevance
Whilst we specifically invite submissions on the preceding three issues, we also invite the submission of evidence on any other matters relating to the impact of the National Security Law in Hong Kong on media freedom that respondents consider relevant to this inquiry.
We will be accepting submissions for written evidence until 12noon on Monday 6 March.
Evidence can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to 10 Polperro Mews, London, SE11 4TY.
Please note, we can only accept submissions in English. If you have any queries or problems with submitting in English, please contact us at email@example.com.
Inquiry into violations of human rights and humanitarian principles
In 2020 the APPG on Hong Kong undertook an inquiry into possible human rights abuses of humanitarian and medical workers and symbols in Hong Kong since the start of the 2019 protests. It invited individuals and organisations from Hong Kong and international organisations to submit evidence to the inquiry team, as well as a group of international lawyers and human rights experts, led by the APPG, to curate, analyse, and evaluate the evidence of the inquiry.
The final report can be viewed online here.
How will your information be used and GDPR:
The administration of this inquiry is being undertaken on behalf of the APPG on Hong Kong by Whitehouse Communications, registered with the Information Commissioner's Office. Whitehouse will only use your information for the purpose of this APPG inquiry. We will not share your data with any external organisation and can assure you that your information is encrypted and secure. If you decide to send evidence with us via email, please be aware that our email system is also encrypted and that we have taken necessary steps to ensure it is secure.
We consider that, under the GDPR, the lawful basis for processing your data is that we are engaged in a public task. Specifically, processing this data is necessary for Parliamentary functions, in this case, undertaking an APPG inquiry. The operation of the GDPR in relation to data collected and processed pursuant to Parliamentary functions is modified by the Data Protection Act 2018. Details about the lawful basis for processing personal data can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website here.
You have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the supervisory authority, about our collection and use of your personal data. They can be contacted at Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or www.ico.org.uk. Further details about your rights and the complaints process can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website here.