HONG KONG – 10 Democratic activists were jailed in Hong Kong on Friday serving 14 months to 18 months in prison in protests in 2019, the latest set of tough punishments that put opposition camps in the soil. Most of China’s territories were imprisoned. And so much more to try out.
They all pleaded guilty this month to organizing a protest that was banned by the police and held on October 1, China’s National Day. As they marched on Hong Kong Island, clashes took place over the city in the worst protest violence that year.
Some of those sentenced on Friday, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai, Labor leader Lee Cheuk-yan and activist Leung Kwok-Hung better known as Long Hair, have been jailed after their conviction in the law. Previous protests Two sentences given to politicians Sin Chung-kai and Richard Tsoi were suspended for two years.
Fernando Cheung, a former pro-democracy lawmaker, said on Friday that “such harsh punishments” sent a message to deter people in Hong Kong before June 4 of the year to honor victims of the Tiananmen Square protests. In 1989, on Thursday, Hong Kong police blocked the event for the second year in a row, citing the coronavirus outbreak.
In addition, on Friday, Hong Kong’s High Court released an explanation for why it denied bail to former moderate lawmaker Claudia Mo, one of 47 democratic activists charged under the law. A new, rigorous national security Judge Esther Two cited other “allegations of despair and the loss of human rights and liberties” that Mr. Mo interviewed and discussed on WhatsApp with journalists from international news organizations, including The New. York Times
Activists, scholars and others are more cautious to speak to foreign news media in Hong Kong, where freedom of the press is defined in the local constitution. But is under ever-increasing threat.
The Hong Kong anti-democratic activist case is part of a broader campaign by the Chinese government to quash political opposition and limit dissent as the cause of street protests in 2019.
Officers were assisted in cracking down on both the security law and the more fearless use of what was contained in the book.
What is the national security law?
The security law, which Beijing enforced on Hong Kong in June 2020, is aimed at terrorism, subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces. Extensive language, much of which has yet to be tested in court, gives officials new powers to block sites, seize assets, conduct searches without a warrant, distribute the jury trial and arrest defendants without bail.
It also allows defendants to be tried under mainland law in certain Communist-controlled courts.
The law has encouraged people to seek asylum in Australia, Canada, the United States and elsewhere, and has raised fears of the future of Hong Kong’s schools, the judicial system and even the artistic expression.
Who was arrested?
More than 10,200 people have been arrested in protests against the government, the Hong Kong Justice Department said in April. Of these, more than 2,500 people have been prosecuted and more than 600 have been convicted on charges including illegal assembly, arson, riots, possession of offensive weapons, assaulting police officers and the destruction of the Chinese flag.
More than 100 people have been arrested under security law or by a local police agency set up last summer to enforce, 57 of them charged, Security Secretary John Lee said last week. already
In addition to thousands of ordinary citizens as young as 12 years old, the arrests wiped out some of the city’s most prominent pro-democracy figures, including young activist Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, 73-year-old Lai, and Martin Lee, 82, former lawmaker named Hong Kong’s “father of democracy”.
But they also extend to district advisors, elected officials who tackle neighborhood-level issues like garbage collection. The District Council, which has been dominated by opposition since a landslide election victory in November 2019, is the final official base of Hong Kong’s democratic movement after all supporters of the legislature resigned from protests at the end of the year. Last
How are the national security cases different?
The national security bill may be punishable by a life sentence depending on the seriousness of the court in which it is judged. The high threshold for bail means that those charged most are likely to spend months if not jailed for years before entering trial.
The biggest national security arrest came in January when 55 Democratic politicians and activists were detained in early morning raids. They held or participated in an unofficial primary election in July, where more than 600,000 people chose Democratic supporters to run in the city’s legislative elections two months later. That election was postponed by the Hong Kong government shortly after the primary election and is now scheduled for Dec. 19, when a new election will be scheduled.
Of the 55 arrested, 47 were formally charged in February for treason, in violation of security laws. Prosecutors said pro-democracy groups planned to get a majority in the legislature and then “arbitrarily” veto the government’s budget to force Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign. Thirty-six of the 47 defendants were denied bail in the four days of the marathon trial, many of whom were hospitalized for exhaustion.
These charges cover a wide political spectrum, from the revered extremist Liang to moderate democracy such as Alvin Yuang. Their unified belief is the desire for universal voting rights in a long-democratic city.
Other national security arrests include four young activists who were previously members of an independent advocacy group. Mr. Lai, two sons and several employees of Next Digital; And 11 people suspected of helping a group of activists trying to flee to Taiwan by boat last year while allegedly involved in protests in 2019.
Here are some of the cases that must be watched.
Mr Lai, who was sentenced to 14 months in prison on Oct. 1 in protest of 20 months in prison, is still facing a range of other cases, including fraudulent assistance. Escape and national security charges of collusion with foreign forces. He is also one of 24 activists accused of taking part in the Tiananmen surveillance last year. Four activists charged, including Mr Wong, were sentenced to between four and 10 months in prison this month.
Nine out of 12 activists who attempted to flee Taiwan were charged in Hong Kong as saying: They were detained in mainland China for months after being caught at sea by officials. Depending on which court case is considered, they may face life imprisonment if convicted.
A trial under the security law will begin on June 23 with Tong Ying-kit, 24, which prosecutors say collided with a police officer while riding a motorcycle with a Hong Kong liberation flag on the back. He was one of 10 protesters arrested for violating the security law on July 1, the first day of entry into force and the anniversary of Hong Kong’s return from British rule to China in 1997. D, who was detained since not long ago After his arrest, he was accused of terrorism and encouraged his separation. The bid for the jury trial was rejected.
How did the rest of the world respond?
The United States, Britain and others have criticized China’s growing crackdown on security laws and Hong Kong. Some countries have lifted their extradition agreements with Hong Kong and have made it easier for people from the city to evacuate or seek asylum. The United States has also imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials who have led the crackdown.
The Chinese government has rejected criticism of the policy in Hong Kong, framing it as an intervention in internal affairs and as a tool to increase pressure at a time of escalating tensions between China and the West.