UK asks Hong Kong to stop prosecuting pro-democracy activists

April 16, 2021 12:38 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wears a protective mask during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Brussels, Belgium April 14, 2021. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool

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LONDON (Reuters) - British foreign minister Dominic Raab urged Hong Kong to cease the prosecution of supporters of democracy in the former British colony, after media tycoon Jimmy Lai and other activists received jail sentences on Friday.

"The Hong Kong authorities' decision to target leading pro-democracy figures for prosecution is unacceptable and must stop," Raab said in a statement.

"The right to peaceful protest is fundamental to Hong Kong's way of life - protected in both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law - and it should be upheld," he added.

(Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by David Milliken, Editing by Catherine Evans)

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