Status: 04/01/2021 09:04 a.m.
Hong Kong is continuing its tough stance against the democracy movement: Several activists have been found guilty of participating in protests, including well-known names such as media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai.
A Hong Kong court found seven leading democracy activists guilty of violating the assembly law. The defendants were charged with taking part in an unauthorized protest on August 18, 2019.
Those convicted include several well-known democracy advocates such as 82-year-old attorney Martin Lee and media magnate Jimmy Lai. They had pleaded not guilty. The maximum sentence now threatens life imprisonment. It is still unclear when the sentence will be announced.
Beijing is proceeding with a hard hand
The basis for the indictment was the new and controversial “national security law” that China passed despite fierce international protests. According to the Beijing government, this is to combat secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.
Seven leading democracy activists convicted of protesting
Tagesschau 6:30 a.m., April 1st, 2021
The court ruling is the latest blow to Hong Kong’s democracy movement, which Beijing is cracking down on. In the past few months – especially since the introduction of the Security Act in the summer – numerous well-known activists have been sentenced to long prison terms for relatively minor offenses. Several more recently fled to other countries for fear of prosecution.
Many Western governments accuse China of undermining civil rights in Hong Kong and wanting to silence the democracy movement.