Eight political activists get up to 14 months in prison in Hong Kong

14:57, 13 December 2021
Eight political activists get up to 14 months in prison in Hong Kong

A Hong Kong court on Monday sentenced a group of eight activists from four and a half to 14 months in prison for participating in an illegal rally, the radio station RTHK reported.

The defendants were found guilty of attempting to convene a rally on June 4, 2020, in Victoria Park to coincide with another 1989 Beijing's Tiananmen Square rally anniversary participants. The police have imposed a ban on this event amid the pandemic. However, some demonstrators could hold a rally and invite others to join them.

Judge Amanda Woodcock said:” The defendants ignored and belittled a genuine public health crisis, wrongly and arrogantly believed in commemorating June 4 rather than protecting the health of the community.”

The media mogul Jimmy Lai (Li Jiying) was among the defendants as the court sentenced him to an additional 13 months. 

The entrepreneur is believed to be one of the organizers of the massive anti-government protests in Hong Kong in 2019. He has been already serving a 14-month sentence on other incidents related to unsanctioned rallies.

"If commemorate (sic) those who died because of injustice is a crime, then inflict on me that crime and let me suffer the punishment of this crime, so I may share the burden and glory of those young men and women who shed their blood on June 4th to proclaim truth, justice, and goodness," Lai said in a mitigation letter, handwritten in prison.

In addition, 74-year-old Lai is involved in a Hong Kong national security law violation case passed on June 30 last year. He is suspected of conspiring with external forces to threaten national security in this special administrative region of the PRC. On this charge, he could face life imprisonment.

On December 3, three other Hong Kong democratic activists were found guilty of Hong Kong protests as well.

The situation in Hong Kong began getting worse following the 2019 mass protests when the security law was imposed.

Freedoms of pro-democratic activists and politicians dwindled after the introduction of the law.