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Interview with U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland; Interview with Former Israeli Diplomat and Former Israeli Consul-General in New York Ido Aharoni Aronoff; Interview with Lead International Counsel for Jimmy Lai Caoilfhionn Gallagher; Interview with The New York Times Photojournalist Lynsey Addario. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired December 06, 2022 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. And welcome to "Amanpour". Here is what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Nobody has claimed responsibility, but the targets were the very precise
bombers that the Russians have been using to attack critical infrastructure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Strikes on Russian air bases, I asked U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland whether this marks a new phase of the war. She is
just back from Kyiv.
Then, Benjamin Netanyahu gets closer to forming yet another government. I asked Israel diplomat Ido Aharoni what his deal with extreme far-right
parties means for Israel and its relationship with the United States.
And, with Beijing reeling from rare protests, human rights lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher joins me to discuss the case against prodemocracy
activist Jimmy Lai, who is detained in Hong Kong. Plus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNSEY ADDARIO, PHOTOJOURNALIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Ukrainians, to me, are some of the most resilient and strong people I have ever met and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: "New York Times" photojournalist Lynsey Addario speaks with Hari Sreenivasan about capturing war and tragedy in pictures.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The war has now come to Russia. Authorities in the region Kursk, close to the border with Ukraine said today a drone had hit an of crossed, roads
close to the border with Ukraine, said today the drone had hit an airfield. This comes a day after Moscow claimed that Kyiv had used drones to attack
two military airbases deep within Russian territory, in the regions of Saratov and Ryazan.
Ukraine has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for those attacks, but they would confirm that the country does now have the capacity to hit
targets many miles beyond the frontier. With the ground war grinding on, Russia has launched yet another barrage of missile strikes on civilian
infrastructure yesterday. knocking out power and water across several Ukrainian regions as the dark and cold winter sets in.
So, do the strikes inside Russia signal a new phase? I asked the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, who's just back
from visiting Kyiv where she met with President Zelenskyy. Critically, we also discussed how Ukraine will manage Putin's weaponization of winter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Victoria Nuland, welcome to the program.
VICTORIA NULAND, U.S. UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS: Thank you, Christiane. It's an honor to be with you.
AMANPOUR: You were just in Kyiv. You've been meeting with the president and others. Today, he's in the eastern part of the country doing what he
does, rallying troops, poking the bear, as they say. What was your take away about the state of the war?
NULAND: Christiane, I would just say that I made this trip to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and with their government as Putin
starts weaponizing winter as we have seen, and I have to tell you the resilience, the courage of the Ukrainians is unbelievable. We have all seen
the pictures, but to be there with them, every single one of them having lost people and now suffering hours and hours of cold and dark, but they
are still fighting strong, and they are confident that they will win from the Zelenskyy although the population.
AMANPOUR: So, let me just put up some pictures, because there are some pictures of you with some of the civilians, some of the kids. And
certainly, Putin's tactic, presumably, is to try to cow (ph) civilians and therefore the leadership into surrender or some kind of immediate
negotiation. You did not get any sense of that?
NULAND: On the contrary. You know, we sat with Minister Kubrakov and Ukrenergo Kudritsky who are on a daily basis with repairing the energy grid
as it is bombed. And they are bound and determined. I went and visited, I don't know if you have the photo, an IDP enter for kids, young kids who
have been evacuated from Kherson and Kharkiv, and I was making a little dolly with Alexander (ph) from Kharkiv and I said to him, what should we
name it? And he said Patriot, this is a five-year-old kid. So, that just tells the story.
AMANPOUR: D, you get a sense that the Ukrainians have enough to withstand the attack on the infrastructure? In other words, they are working around
the clock to survive Putin's weaponization of winter. Can they do it?
NULAND: Well, I have to say, they are incredibly ingenious, as you know, the facility that we toured, had -- they had established passive
defensives, sandbags, et cetera, around the entire facility. They are using the air defenses that we and the Europeans are giving them around the major
Yesterday's attack, there were some 70 missiles all across the country, and the Ukrainians are claiming that 60 of them were shot down. And you know,
there were some blackouts but not as much as they expected. We are racing more support and assistance in to them. And also, talking about the
potential of reverse flow energy from Europe.
So, they are resilient. They are working hard. But what we have to remember is that Putin has now brought this war to every civilian home. And that is
a war crime.
AMANPOUR: Wow. That's quite tough, a war crime. So, let me ask you this than, do you think that a new tactic by the -- well, I don't know if it's
by the Ukrainians because they don't admit it and they don't talk about it. But there are a long-range Ukrainian drones or long-range drones, I don't
even know how to word this.
You tell me, what are the drones, what are the weaponry that is now reaching out of Ukraine into Russia and Russia says its airbases are being
attacked, or at least have been attacked? Is this a new phase? Whose weapons are they?
NULAND: Well, first of all, the new phase was initiated by Putin, when he could not win on the battlefield, he decided to try to freeze Ukraine. So,
that is one thing. And he couldn't win with his own weapons, so he's pulled weapons and drones in from Iran, and those are participating in these
vicious strikes against the Ukrainians.
What I will say to you, Christiane, is that the Ukrainian people are incredibly innovative they are making their own drones, air and sea, that
are incredibly effective. With regard to the recent strikes, I would note that nobody has claimed responsibility, but the targets were the very
precise bombers that the Russians have been using to attack critical infrastructure.
AMANPOUR: OK. I'm reading very, very clearly between those lines. So, I want to ask you this, because we all remember that U.S. policy was not to
provide Ukraine with the kind of long-range missiles or weaponry that could reach into Russia. Has U.S. policy changed?
NULAND: It has not changed. And as I said, the Ukrainians are enormously innovative. They are working very hard with their own technologies and
their own equipment. However, U.S. and European equipment is making a significant difference, not just on the battlefield, what you saw with the
liberation of Kherson when you are out there in November, but also in providing air defense to defeat so many of these missiles that Russia is
raining down on Ukrainian civilian heads.
AMANPOUR: Well, if this is the case then and even your own director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, has said that she sees, and is
optimistic for Ukraine in the long term. Why then, do you think, talk of negotiation is filling the airwaves right now, and I mean from the west?
President Macron who just made a state visit, President Biden's first hosting of such at the White House has said in several interviews that this
will be determined at the negotiating table.
I spoke to somebody very, you know, concerned and involved in all of this, and that is the leader of the Baltic State, Prime Minister of Lithuania,
yesterday, who said that she found that weird, that was her word, weird, to be talking about, you know, negotiations that offered Russia security
guarantees. What is yours and the U.S. view on this?
NULAND: Let me say two things, Christiane. First of all, I would commend to all of you the 10-point peace plan that President Zelenskyy himself
offered during the G20 meeting of leaders just two weeks ago. And that includes a number of elements, including restoring Ukraine to her
internationally recognized borders, getting Russian forces out, et cetera. And that is the plan that the world should be rallying around.
I would also note that President Putin has shown zero interest in negotiating in good faith. In fact, after President Biden made the comment
about considering talking to him if he was serious about peace, the Kremlin said, you have to recognize all this territory that we've annexed or we
won't even talk to you.
So -- and then, we've had the additional missile strikes just yesterday. So, Putin wants to continue prosecuting this war, and it's Zelenskyy who's
put out a peace plan.
AMANPOUR: Your own boss, the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, today has warned of a so-called phony off-ramp for Russia and that he is deemed to be
seeking time to regroup, that would be Putin, exactly what I heard from President Zelenskyy, when as you mentioned, I was in Kyiv in -- at the
beginning of November. This is what the president said to me about the notion of a pause or negotiations at this time.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Everyone has to understand that it is only the Kremlin and only one person, the head
of the Russian Federation who is not tired of the war. He might be tired of life in principle, because of his age. But he is definitely not tired of
the war. Now, this person and the Russian political and military leadership need a pause. Believe me, they can feel it.
AMANPOUR: So, given that, is there a split now between what Ukraine wants, what you are saying about what the USC's fit and what some allies like
France is saying publicly?
NULAND: Again, I think Putin demonstrated to all of us yesterday with another barrage of 70 missiles that he is very far from pausing. That said,
his troops have not succeeded on the battlefield. As you saw, he has to conscript folks and press into service. He's even trying to recruit
convicts from his prisons to fight in this war.
So, of course, he would love a pause so that he can refit. It was very clear from my visit to Ukraine that the Ukrainians intend now that the
ground is frozen, to keep fighting through the winter, to get back the territory that is theirs.
AMANPOUR: Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State, thank you very much indeed for joining us.
NULAND: Thank you, Christiane.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And like Ukraine, Israel relies heavily on the United States, its ally for its defense. And Washington says it is very concerned now
about a new government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and extreme right-wing allies. Netanyahu won the fifth national election in just four years with
the coalition of parties that have promoted racism and anti-LGBTQ policies, and will now occupy key roles in government, ranging from education to
Netanyahu himself says, this is another significant step to forming a right-wing nationalist government that will look out for all Israeli
citizens. The outgoing Israeli justice minister warns, I think that the coalition is taking Israel to a dangerous place. And U.S. Secretary of
State, Anthony Blinken, on Sunday, put the new administration on notice saying, it'll be gauged on its policy.
Ido Aharoni, is a former professor of international relations at NYU and a veteran diplomat with the Israeli foreign service. And he's joining me here
Welcome to the program.
IDO AHARONI ARONOFF, FORMER ISRAELI DIPLOMAT AND FORMER ISRAELI CONSUL- GENERAL IN NEW YORK: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: So, you know, veteran, I knew you when you were Consul-General in New York and you have headed that operation for longer than any other
official. You are very well aware of dealing with -- between your country and other countries, especially the U.S. which is very worried now. Even
here in the U.K., right, you're on business but you're having to talk to many people in this country who are worried and curious about what is
happening in your country. What can you say to them?
ARONOFF: So, the level of curiosity is amazing, because we have never had anything like this in Israel's history. Although, we did have some cases of
people that, the very fact that they were elected to hold high positions, created a very high-level of anxiety. For example, when Menachem Begin was
elected in 1977, American organized American jewelry was very much against it and they made it known.
Ariel Sharon is another case of someone who, the fact that he became the minister under Menachem Begin, caused a great deal of anxiety. Avigdor
Lieberman is another name. But I think this time, because of the uniqueness and the fact that this is a solid right of center coalition the level of
curiosity. And I may say in some places, anxiety is very, very high. Especially in the Jewish world.
AMANPOUR: So, you say, right of center, but we described it as extreme right, and most people are describing it as very far right. And the
president -- the prime minister to be himself said, far right nationalist, you know, policy. So --
ARONOFF: So --
AMANPOUR: -- this is different in that regard, too. I mean, it's way off the scale that you've had before.
ARONOFF: And there's one particular reason for that perception and that's a one party, it is actually a platform, a merger of three different parties
that won 14 seats.
And that party's name is Jewish Power or Jewish Strength or Jewish Might, which the name, by itself, many people think is disturbing. Because if you
are powerful, why declaring it? And that, the leaders of that party, particularly three people, have made declarations in the past that there is
no other way to describe them other than revolutionary.
AMANPOUR: And what does that mean --
ARONOFF: It means that they want --
AMANPOUR: -- in an Israeli modern 2022 sense?
ARONOFF: It means that they are looking -- you know, we're all familiar with the traditional definition of populism. It's the narrative that says,
we, the people, against the elite. Here, it's a different form of populism. It's we, the people, against the establishment. Against the institution of
And they're targeting and they're -- they made references, public references, to the need to the overall, the court system, even the defense
ministry, even the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces that claim it's too soft, and so on and so forth. So --
AMANPOUR: So --
ARONOFF: -- Israelis -- there are many Israelis, by the way, including Israelis that voted for the right of center block, because there are many
ways to look at the outcome of the elections. But including Israelis that vote for the right of center block that find those statements very
disturbing, and I don't think they anticipated them to win 14 seats, which is more than 10 percent of the number -- of the member of the Knesset.
AMANPOUR: So, when you say, you know, statements that are disturbing. I mean, as I mentioned, some have been openly homophobic. Some of these
leaders have suggested that men should not be shaking hands with women. Some have been considered, even too extreme, by the IDF, to even conscript
them during, you know, times of national service.
One of them, this is Itamar Ben-Gvir, has a conviction for inciting anti- Arab racism. And we remember that terrible explosion of bloodletting inside Israel, we have never seen that before. He has been convicted for inciting
that and supporting terrorism. Now, he is positioned to lead the national security ministry. What does that mean? Again, the United States is
concerned that these types of people may, they may have to deal with them on issues of national security and other things.
ARONOFF: Right. I think the secretary of state took the right position. You know, we can't judge them by past statements. You have to wait and see
what they will be actually doing. And I think that prime minister-elect Netanyahu pacified the concerns of many people by saying, I will be prime
minister for the entire nation.
However, the concern is that the people from that particular party, their understanding of democracy is very procedural. We won the elections and
therefore we are going to do what we want. And in fact, one of the members of the Knesset, that is a member of that party actually said it on
television. Deal with it, basically that's what he said. We're going to do whatever we want because we want.
AMANPOUR: So --
ARONOFF: This is a very technical definition of democracy.
AMANPOUR: Right. And it's one that is about power, and it's not about being, as Benjamin Netanyahu said, for all Israeli citizens, right? It's
about being for their group and their supporters and their -- what you're describing as a very hardline version of a Torah-led religious government.
Is that what you're saying by revolutionary?
ARONOFF: Yes, and I think it goes beyond that. It's the entire issue of governance, for example. The belief that the court system is actually an
impediment in the process of proper governance, which is exactly the opposite. The Israeli Supreme Court, historically, is known for actually
making life much easier for the Israeli government and the family of nations with some very, very creative and interesting rulings that are
serving as a model for other high courts of justice all over the world.
So -- and you can ask yourself, why this is happening? This is happening because the political conversation all over the world, and Israel is no
exception, is a conversation that lacks nuance. We can't deal with complexity anymore. It has a lot to do what the impact of information
overload. And we do live in the age of information overload, has tremendous implications on political life.
AMANPOUR: So, before I get to some of the more specifics, there's another gentleman, Smotrich, he will have authority over the policy of Israeli
settlements in the occupied West Bank, relations with the Palestinians. And this looks to be, you know, yet another excuse to keep annexing, to keep
Israeli authority to move back from the two-state solution. I'm going to ask you about that.
But when you talk about this situation where the people have gone to the polls and elected these people, it also had one of the largest turnouts in
the last 20 years.
Apparently, 70.1 percent turnout. You've just talked about information overload. But the polls show that so many Israelis, particularly Israeli
Jews, particularly in the 18 to 24 age group, you know, the number who identify themselves as right wing is at 70 percent.
ARONOFF: It's probably more than that.
AMANPOUR: But that's unusual too, historically, isn't it, or not?
ARONOFF: Well, it depends. It depends. There's a historical context here that has to be considered. The Israelis developed, obviously, based on, you
know, generations of persecution. Obviously, the holocaust. A very strong, I call it, siege mentality. Fully -- acutely aware of the threats
surrounding them. They respond to threats very well. And they have a tendency to undermine opportunity. And that's a result of the very bloody
history of persecution.
Now, obviously, the fact that the Palestinians never really showed any, you know, there diplomacy was all or nothing diplomacy. Zero sum diplomacy did
not help. I will give you an example. Their rejection of the Clinton Plan in 2000. Their response to Ariel Sharon's unilateral pullout in 2005. The
rejection of the Ehud Olmert plan in 2008. All those things convinced Israelis, even left-of-center Israelis, that the conflict is no longer
about land but rather about our very right to exist. And that really changed the political landscape.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, fast forward -- I mean, that was in something, I think it was 2000? And even Yasser Arafat said, I wish we had accepted the
Clinton parameters. So, yes -- I mean, a lot of problems there. But, you know, to be fair, your politicians have always said, we don't have a
partner on that side. We're not going to talk to them. And that also is untrue.
But what do you think because we're also hearing there's a lot of dissatisfaction amongst young people, young Palestinians with this state of
affairs? That the whole area is potentially, you know, about to maybe show some Iran style or China style protest. Do you see that? Are you reading
ARONOFF: It may happen. Some commentators believe that this is an inevitable scenario. Meaning, this government is going to be tested, this
new coalition that will be sworn in, probably, within the next two and a half, three weeks, will be tested either by Hezbollah from the north, maybe
by Hamas and Gaza. Maybe by Palestinians in the West Bank. And maybe, as some Israeli commentators expressed in Israeli media, even the Israelis
themselves will take to the streets to protest against the government.
But I can tell you that based on past experiences that we've had before, I think that this government will be judged by its actions.
ARONOFF: The best example is the --
AMANPOUR: The education.
ARONOFF: -- the Ehud Olmert government in 2006 was immediately tested by Hezbollah, if you remember.
ARONOFF: And the Israeli reaction was very harsh and we've had, more or less, a quiet front --
AMANPOUR: Right, but let's talk about inside Israel right now, which is what people are very, very curious about. Now, apparently, this very far-
right known party, its leader, Avi Maoz, will be in control of education policy. He's called for IDF advisory unit regarding the status of women to
be abolished, whatever that means. We've seen things like that in places like Afghanistan and all the rest with. The party is also anti-LGBTQ.
Supports increasing ultra-orthodox values in the educational system.
More than 50 local authorities around Israel have announced that they will not cooperate with these policies. So, where does that leave the country?
ARONOFF: This is a very interesting story because what -- this fellow that you mentioned his name is not going to hold the educational portfolio, but
he demanded within the coalition agreement which made public yesterday, to have authority over one particular unit within the ministry of education
that is in-charge of what we call external curriculum, extracurricular programs.
And he was quoted to saying that through those extracurricular programs, foreign governments influence our children. That's his argument. And the
very, very interesting, the reaction, not only of Israeli municipal leaders, but also of the leaders of the trade union. The trade union of the
AMANPOUR: The teachers' union, yes. They're not going to --
ARONOFF: -- the teachers' union --
AMANPOUR: They're not going to settle for that.
ARONOFF: -- the head of the -- it was very powerful trade union, perhaps one of the most powerful trade unions in Israel. And our viewers should
know that Israel trade unions are very powerful, still. And he said, this is not going to fly. And so, the reaction of the Israeli system to that
particular element of the agreement is very harsh.
ARONOFF: Unusually harsh.
AMANPOUR: So, let's go back again, the very well-known and bestselling author, Yuval Noah Harari, I've interviewed several times, including just
last month, has talked about this. This is what he told me about what the actual election result actually means that Israelis want for their country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YUVAL NOAH HARARI, AUTHOR, "SAPIENS": A lot of the Israeli public has gradually switched from a belief in the two-state solution to at least an
implicit belief in the three classes solution. That you have just one country between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, with three classes
of people living there. Jews, who have all of the rights, some Arabs who have some rights, and other Arabs with very little or no rights.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, he's talking about a segregated nation. Do you agree with that? Do you think that is what people have voted for and that's what's
coming down the pipe?
ARONOFF: The -- there are many ways to look at the outcome of the election. When you look at the popular vote, it is practically,
mathematically 50/50. When you look at the positions, you have about 80 members of the Knesset that are right of center, and 40 that are left of
center. When you look at the level of religiosity, Jews and Muslims, you have 60 members of the Knesset that are either very religious or ultra-
There are many ways to look at it. And obviously, the coalition is 64/56. What Professor Harari was referring to is the future of the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict. And I think, again, as an observer, that the attempts to basically eliminate the green line and to say, you know, the West Bank
is open for Israelis. The Israelis voted with their feet.
ARONOFF: There are -- you don't see mass migration of Israelis to the West Bank. You would think that you would have millions of Israelis living in
the West Bank, it's not happening. And I think that Harari is right in some of the things that he is saying, but I think that the two-state solution is
probably in the eyes of the majority of the Israelis. The most viable solution on the table.
AMANPOUR: We shall see. Thank you so much for your valuable perspective.
ARONOFF: Thank you for having me.
AMANPOUR: Ido Aharoni, former Consul-General in New York. Thank you so much.
Next, we turn to China, where today, President Xi Jinping called for unity. His remarks at the memorial service for the former leader Jiang Zemin come
as Xi weathers unprecedented protest over his strict zero-COVID rules. Some cities have eased restrictions but China is standing firm on another front.
After massive pro-democracy demonstrations there in 2019, Beijing crackdown, passing a tough national security law that it said, had to
restore order. But, others, including the billionaire businessman Jimmy Lai, accused authorities of stifling dissent and smothering a long-held
press freedoms in that territory. That made Lai a target. He's been arrested numerous times, and next week he'll stand trial on charges of
colluding with foreign powers. Here's what he told CNN in 2020 about his activism during a brief release from jail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIMMY LAI, HONG KONG BUSINESS: Everybody who enjoy freedom of today, how many people die for it? How many people fight for it for so long and loss
of loved ones? You know, it's not something that the people in power hand us the freedom. It is because our ancestors that has been fighting for it
that's why we have it today, and that's why we treasure it so much. Because, it's so much life and blood is involved in today's freedom that we
What we have is just moral power. The moral authority we have is the most potent weapon we have.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Caoilfhionn Gallagher is Jimmy Lai's lead international counsel. And she's joining me now from New York.
Caoilfhionn, welcome to the program. That was really profound, you know, what Jimmy Lai say. He's 75 years old. He's looking at a trial or life in
prison. Is there any way, under the new laws, that he will receive a fair trial? What do you think as his lead counsel?
CAOILFHIONN GALLAGHER, LEAD INTERNATIONAL COUNSEL FOR JIMMY LAI: In short, no. Unfortunately, the position is that he's being prosecuted under the
national security law, a law which has been condemned widely internationally. Including by the United Nations, by the European Union, by
the U.S. government, the U.K. government, multiple governments around the world.
So, the entirety of the prosecution and the process is fundamentally flawed and we do not have confidence that he's going to receive a fair trial.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you about the charges, because it's not just about, you know, libel and counterterrorism, which he was charged under,
but the endless new sets of laws that the authorities are throwing at him. Each time he gets, you know, a trial, then there is another one because a
new. And you've called and you've termed this process, lawfare. Describe what that means and how effective it is.
GALLAGHER: That's right. So, I act for many journalists around the world who were targeted because of their work, including Jimmy Lai in Hong Kong,
Maria Ressa in the Philippines, and what we are increasingly seeing is lawfare, weaponization of a wide range of laws in order to target those who
speak truth to power.
So, instead of just seeing traditional tools being used against journalist, so, defamation laws, for example, or even counterterrorism laws, we are now
seeing fraud laws, regulatory laws, intellectual property laws being used. But they are all being targeted for the same reason, to attempt to stop
journalists doing their job and reporting and telling the world what's really happening in the region that they are in.
It's important to remember that with Jimmy Lai, what has happened to him since 2020 is the sharp end of a process which has been continuing for many
decades. Right from the outset, when he set up the "Next" magazine in 1990, horrified as he was by the bloodshed in Tiananmen Square in 1989. The
authorities targeted him. They targeted him financially right from the outset. He had a clothing business, which was targeted in 1990, as soon as
he started writing pieces that were critical of Beijing's leaders, including China's then prime minister, the late Li Peng, I often refer to
as the butcher of Beijing.
And for years, he was targeted using surveillance and so on. But what we're not seeing is the sharp end of the process in the last two years. So, the
law being used to close his business, put him behind bars, and now, I'm afraid, 75-year-old man who's achieved so much over decades is facing the
rest of his life behind bars.
AMANPOUR: So, you, obviously, also, I mean, you are in New York right now, you are trying to get international support. And particularly, Jimmy Lai
does hold British nationality as well. And yet, recently, the British prime minister, you know, Rishi Sunak, he basically said Britain couldn't rely on
"simplistic cold war rhetoric, but the so-called golden era of British Chinese relation is over." He -- basically, he was saying, also, that we
have to deal with China pragmatically, and we can't rely on lofty rhetoric, i.e., human rights, defending journalists, all of those things.
How do you get, you know, governments who say these kinds of things to actually help your client? What could you do?
GALLAGHER: Well, frankly, it's deeply disappointing that the U.K. government has been so quiet on this fundamentally shocking case, which
involves a U.K. national. We are in the U.S. this week. We had, on 25th of October, Jimmy Lai convicted in a holy spurious fraud case. And when he was
convicted, we got a very strong statement from the White House, from the U.S. government, condemning his conviction on spurious fraud charges and
describing precisely how outrageous it is that he faces the kind of lawfare we have described.
The United Nations, similarly, Michelle Bachelet, in her role, condemned the prosecution against Mr. Lai. And yet, on 25th of October, there is
total silence from the U.K. government. So, this is a British national who is detained behind bars in Hong Kong in circumstances which flagrantly
violate international law and have been widely internationally condemned, and we are extremely disappointed that since December of 2020, when Dominic
Raab was foreign secretary, we have not seen a foreign secretary speak out on this case, or indeed, Rishi Sunak speak out on this case.
And that silence speaks volumes. So, our key message to the U.K. government today is they have got to stand up and be counted and speak up for their
AMANPOUR: And, Caoilfhionn Gallagher, Hong Kong was, of course, as everybody remembers, a bastion of human rights, you know, pretty much a
democracy, although, it wasn't codified, press rights and all the rest of it.
Now, according to all the metrics, it's plummeted to almost down to the bottom of international lists. Jimmy Lai's own son, Sebastien says, all of
this, this lawfare against him, is designed to send a message. It's not just about him, it's designed to send a message to who, and about what?
GALLAGHER: Yes. So, Sebastien, our very brave client, Jimmy Lai's son, has said repeatedly, that his father's case is emblematic. So, it's not only
important to Sebastien and his family. So, Sebastien hasn't seen his father in two years. Is living in Taiwan, separated from his family and his
father. So, it's horrific for them as a family. But Sebastien has always said, and we agree, that this case is a vital importance for press freedom
and the rule of law in Hong Kong. And also, more widely, it's an emblematic case of what can happen if the world does not take robust action when we
see journalists being targeted.
And it's regrettable that at the moment, many international businesses and many states are continuing to treat Hong Kong on a business-as-usual basis.
And this is not business as usual. The National Security Law, when it was introduced two years ago, it introduced powers which were swinging and
deeply, deeply concerning.
GALLAGHER: And it's a vital importance that this emblematic case, Jimmy Lai's case, is taken as seriously as possible.
GALLAGHER: I should say, one of the most concerning aspects of the National Security Law is the fact that it's breathtakingly broad and it
applies to anyone on the planet. So, it doesn't just apply within Hong Kong's borders or China's borders, it applies internationally. And one of
the trends we're increasingly seeing in the last number of months is China attempting to use the long arm of the state to silence its critics wherever
they may be.
GALLAGHER: And we've seen in the Manchester consulate, very graphically, someone being dragged, literally dragged over the border. And I think
you'll be aware that we and many others who support Jimmy Lai, including us as international lawyers, have been targeted for that very reason
AMANPOUR: Yes. And it's obviously something that affects all of us. So, we are very happy to be able to highlight his case. And naturally, we reached
out to the Chinese government and we've heard nothing back on this issue. Caoilfhionn Gallagher, thank you so much.
As we discussed earlier, Ukraine is bearing the brunt of relentless missile strikes across the country in Kherson, which was liberated last month.
Russia is still shelling the city, and authorities say one person was killed over the weekend. Our next guest, photojournalist, Lynsey Addario,
has just been on the ground in Kherson documenting the aftermath of Russia's withdrawal. And she tells Hari Sreenivasan what she saw.
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HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Lynsey Addario, welcome back.
As we are talking, there are lots of reports of more rockets being fired throughout Ukraine, and people huddling in the subway systems of the
capital city. What are you hearing from your colleagues on the ground of how bad it is at this moment?
LYNSEY ADDARIO, PHOTOJOURNALIST, THE NEW YORK TIMES: I think, you know, Ukraine has sort of fallen into this pattern where people have made the
decision to live their lives until the siren goes off and then, they go in the shelter, and that has become a reality of life.
I think people are not really willing to just stop living. They are not willing to stop going out, going to cafes when there is electricity, of
course now. I think that they have just made the combinations to live in their country for the time being while they can, while there is heat, and
sporadic electricity. But when the sirens go off, they take them seriously because, generally, it does mean that there are attacks coming.
SREENIVASAN: What does this do to, I don't know, the psyche of civilians when they are either living in cities or under the threat of a state where
they don't have power, that there could literally be rockets again?
ADDARIO: I mean, I asked myself daily how long can this go on? How long can Russia continue to just, you know, barrage Ukraine with missiles and
with all sorts of artillery and destroy the infrastructure? You know, people are exhausted. I've never -- I've said it before and I will say it
again, that I've -- you know, Ukrainians to me are some of the most resilient and strong people I have ever met and photographed.
But, of course, there is a point at which that has to wear out. I mean, you know, people have families. People are giving birth in these conditions.
People are raising small children. You know, what do you tell them time and time again? I think, you know, for me, when I got to cover Ukraine, I leave
my small children at home. People in Ukraine do not have that luxury. And I think, you know, it's a lot to ask of a population. And so, I just -- I
don't know the answer how long people can endure this.
SREENIVASAN: You recently were in Ukraine and you filed some tremendous photography and this work from Kherson, a city that, now, is living without
power and approaching cold winter, that's only going to get colder. Give us a sense of what life is like in Ukraine right now.
ADDARIO: Yes. It's extraordinarily difficult. I was in Kherson. I arrived there the day it was liberated with several other journalists. There was
this incredible euphoria, people were so excited and relieved, and overwhelmed with emotion, really. I mean, almost everyone was just weeping
and embracing any soldier or Ukrainian security force they could find because they were so grateful to be free. But that, of course, was very
bittersweet because as the Russians left Kherson, they destroyed the electricity, communications, the water supplies.
So, people, including all of the journalists covering the situation, have been talking without water, electricity, heat. You know, And it's extremely
cold. But I think, you know, people are conflicted because, of course, they say, well, there are no Russians, which they are very happy about, but it's
SREENIVASAN: We spoke back in March of this year. And at that time, you were talking about what you would think is evidence that Russians were
targeting civilians. I know that situations on the ground in the places that you visited for these most recent reports are different, but do you
still find that the case?
ADDARIO: Oh, yes. I mean, and now, we have seen evidence of war crimes across the country. We have seen them in Bucha. We have seen them in
Kharkiv. We have seen them in Kherson. The day I left Kherson, I photographed the exhumation of a father and his mother, you know, as the
son looked on. You know, and I think they had been killed around November 10th and their bodies were just placed inside of a bunker essentially.
You know, these things are happening all of the time, and civilians are definitely being targeted. And I think, you know, now, if you target the
infrastructure, you are still targeting civilians because you're essentially asking them to live without heat and electricity in a country
that is extraordinarily cold.
SREENIVASAN: There is one individual, I'm going to mispronounce his name, Sergie Yosavad (ph), a young man from the outskirts of Kherson. Tell us a
little bit about him and what happened?
ADDARIO: Yes. I mean, we -- this time, it seems like Russians have learned from what happened in Bucha and Kharkiv, and a lot of the evidence of the
war crimes is harder to find, let's say. And so, we had heard rumors that Russians were burning their own dead. So, we were out in this village on
the outskirts of Kherson looking essentially for graves of Russians. And we stopped and talked to these Ukrainian soldiers and said, do you know
anything about this rumor? And they said no, but there are two civilians dead in the front yard across the street. And we thought, well, that's
So, we went across the street. And Sergie (ph) had ironically sort of just walked up at the same time and he told the story of how his father was a
father. He lived under occupation. He was in touch with him whenever his father can essentially get signal. On November 10th, he tried to reach him.
It coincided with when the Russians were pulling out. He couldn't reach him. He made the -- he made his way down from Kyiv, it was a two- to three-
When he got there, he went to his home, there were Ukrainian soldiers living in his home. He said, have you seen my father? They said, no, but
across the street there's a small wooden cross in a bunker or near a bunker. And so, he went. And, of course, very wisely, he called the
deminers first because when the Russians left, they left everything mined and booby trapped.
Once it was demined, he immediately recognized the feet and the legs of his father and the cane of his grandmother. And then, had to wait for the
prosecutor to send a team of police to come and actually do a proper exhumation so they can identify the wounds and the bodies and do a sort of
autopsy on the ground there. And so, that took two weeks.
So, essentially, his father and grandmother laid dead in this bunker for two weeks and he had to wait for them to be exhumed so he could give them a
SREENIVASAN: Did he have an idea of how they died?
ADDARIO: Well, they both had bullet wounds to the head. His father had several bullet wounds all over his body. And apparently, his father was
killed first. And the grandmother was found in her flip-flops or her slippers on top of her son. So, you can only imagine what that scene looked
like in the final moments that probably, and I'm guessing here, the mother came out because she heard her son, and she was also executed.
SREENIVASAN: Another thing people are discovering in the wake of the withdrawal is torture chambers, what evidence did you see of that?
ADDARIO: Oh, I mean, we visited several. There are zip ties, there are ropes hanging, there are field phones often used to give electrical shock
to people. So, this is something we have heard over and over from people who were tortured and held, that they were shocked with electricity and
they're used with sort of army field phones. That's how they administer enough current so that they don't kill them, or try not to kill them but
they put them in extreme amounts of pain.
And so, we saw these places. They're often in police stations. One of the places we visited was actually in a normal building, a sort of business on
the ground floor. Residence is upstairs. And the basement was a torture chamber. There were different cells. There were carvings on the wall
marking how long people had been held there. People drawing pictures, etching their homes into the walls. You can imagine what was going on in
SREENIVASAN: The pictures that you have taken of torture chambers, of shallow graves, these could easily be evidence of war crimes. But besides
you and the foreign press, what efforts are being made to preserve all of this, to catalog this, to make a case in the future?
ADDARIO: I mean, that is hard for me to answer? I would say the Ukrainian government is doing an amazing job of making sure there are teams of
prosecutors on the ground every time a place is liberated. And, you know, for example, when I was in Kherson, I was working daily with the prosecutor
on the ground there from the day after the city fell.
And, you know, he told me, they do interviews, they have teams around the region and, you know, he kept saying, OK, in this place (INAUDIBLE), there
will be an exhumation of a 14-year-old girl, or of a young girl. They -- you know, but that exhumation took two weeks because it was raining. And
for -- they wanted to make sure they had the team, proper team, to do the exhumation correctly so that everything in the war crimes tribunal checks
And so, the Ukrainian government is being very careful about how they do things. And I think that that is a testament to the fact that they will not
let this go and nor will the International Community think?
SREENIVASAN: One of the other sets of photographs I want to talk about is a situation I don't think that nearly as much of the world is watching. You
recently traveled to Somalia, and you could start with a list of reasons why the people are in the streets that they are in, between a civil
conflict and famine. But tell us about where you went and what you saw?
ADDARIO: Yes. So, you know, this year, as we know, has been dominated mostly with Ukraine, but before I was covering climate change. Climate
change and conflict. And, for me, the Horn of Africa has been facing one of the worst droughts in the past 40 years.
Somalia is a country, as you mentioned, that's been, you know, rife with conflict, drought. Now, with the war in Ukraine, there are -- you know,
there was a lack of wheat and grains being exported from Ukraine because of the conflict. So, less food was getting to Africa. There's inflation. So,
there is so many factors leading to the dire situation in Somalia right now.
Right now, what you have is about 2 million people in Somalia are facing emergency food levels, and 300,000 are facing catastrophic levels of food
shortage, which is basically famine. And so, I've started my trip in Hudlan (ph), in the north, there are over a million people displaced within
Somalia because of this drought and because of conflict, of course.
You see the carcasses of dead animals everywhere. And that is something that is incredibly noteworthy because people in Somalia depend on their
animals. They depend on them for milk, for food, for sustenance. And so, when you see animals in a mass dying across Somalia, that is something that
is very noteworthy because people are dying because their animals are dying.
SREENIVASAN: You talked to a woman named Idaba (ph). Tell me a little bit about her.
ADDARIO: Idaba (ph), I was working in one of the camps for displaced, you have to work very quickly because al-Shabaab is around. So, you only have
about 30 minutes, 40 minutes on the ground. I heard that there was a child, a four-year-old child who had just died that morning from malnutrition. I
went to that camp, I met Idaba (ph). I was speaking to her, she said, yes. He had measles and malnutrition and he was so weak because he had been
hungry for so long.
And then I said, how many children do you have? And she said, well, less than one month ago I lost two other sons in the village to malnutrition.
And she said, I decided to leave my village and come to Baidoa, which is a dangerous journey, of course, because you are leaving and passing through
al-Shabaab territory to get to Baidoa where there are aid agencies. I was working with Save the Children. And she said, you know, my two sons died in
the village. I said, I have to get to a place where I can just get food so no one else dies. And she got you a camp, and her third son died. That is
three children in one month.
SREENIVASAN: It's hard, I think, for a lot of people to visualize what these different levels of starvation mean, right? I mean, we can say
catastrophic, we could say famine. But what is -- how much food or water the does this woman have access to when she's not in Save the Children
camp? I mean, what was her life and what's the average life like of people trying to live in such arid conditions?
ADDARIO: Well, I think it goes back to what I said about the cattle -- I mean, about the animals. You know, a lot of people that I interviewed had
200 animals, goats, sheep. You know, and then, they go down to 30. And what do you do as your source of milk and food that feeds your children dies off
because there is no water?
You know, the other thing is, people who don't have cattle who are dependent on pastoralist, who -- people who provide them or sell them milk,
they also leave the area because they have to go in search of water because there is no rain. And so, I think, you know, a lot of the families I
interviewed, I say, so, what are you eating now? Porridge, some of them have porridge. The water source is not clean. You know, you're -- you --
they don't have access. Sometimes they move just to get to Baidoa because they know that organizations like Save the Children and Mercy Corps and WFP
are there providing water, food. There are water trucks coming and filling giant bladders with water so people can actually drink water.
But I think it's hard to imagine, you know, one mother said, she gives her children one meal a day, that is it, and it is usually porridge. And if
there is anything left over, she will eat herself. You know, we're not even talking about the mothers who were malnourished, you know, because, of
course, the children are more vulnerable, so they die first.
SREENIVASAN: Is there a sense of things are getting any better?
ADDARIO: No. This is -- you know, there have been consecutive failed rainy seasons. This past rainy season also failed. Even if it rains a sprinkle in
some place, that is not going to undo, you know, years of drought. And so, no, it is not getting better at all.
SREENIVASAN: Whether it is in Somalia or Ukraine or any other places, how do you create the kind of mental distance necessary to function when you
see, as a mom, that could be your kid, had your child not been born where they were, right? I mean, it's -- some of the imagery is just so hunting
when people connect with that human being that's in the image. But there you are, you can feel her grief. How do you keep working through that?
ADDARIO: I -- look, I cry all the time when I am working and I get really embarrassed because I think, oh, I have to be tougher. And often, I don't
want to cry because I don't want the person I'm photographing to realize their situation is as bad as it is. You know, so, I am always trying to
collect myself. But, of course, the first thing I am thinking of when I approach a woman like Idaba Yusuf (ph) is, it's so unfair. You know, she
has this life because she is born in a place that, you know, she doesn't have the opportunities that we have, one, for example, because I was born
in America, you know, I have access to food and water, and shelter, the opportunity to work, the opportunity to do what I want for a living and to
make my own money. And most people around the world do not have those opportunities.
And I think that is one of the things that drives me to do this work year after year, no matter how devastating it is, because I don't believe it is
fair. You know, I think that there is so much injustice in this world. And I just hope that sometimes these stories will make a difference.
SREENIVASAN: Lynsey Addario of "The New York Times," thanks so much.
ADDARIO: Thank you so much for having me.
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AMANPOUR: And we all keep telling these stories. It's so important. Finally, you may have missed a jubilant concert at Carnegie Hall this
weekend. Members of Ukraine's Shchedryk Children's Choir came to New York City to see the sites and perform the "Carol of the Bells," the beloved
Christmas song based on Ukrainian folk melodies.
As concert organizers note, Ukraine established its independents through the motto, I sing, therefore I am. Ukraine continues to sing and continues
to be. And despite everything we've heard, in that spirit, we leave you with this moment of Christmas harmony. Thanks for watching and goodbye from
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