Lai, the 74-year-old owner of the now-shuttered pro-democracy Apple Daily newspaper, was condemned of illegal assembly charges together with former reporter Gwyneth Ho and prominent rights legal representative Chow Hang-tung. Authorities charged more than two lots pro-democracy political leaders and activists over a vigil last year, which celebrated the victims of Beijings deadly crackdown in 1989. The trio were the only ones to contest their charges in court, indicating they were the last to receive their verdict.Hong Kongs District Court convicted them of charges including taking and inciting part in an unauthorised assembly.In practical terms, the convictions make very little difference.Lai, Chow and Ho are among dozens of activists currently behind bars facing separate prosecutions under a rigorous nationwide security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in the wake of typically violent and substantial democracy protests two years ago.But their prosecution is the most recent illustration of how much the space has narrowed in between Hong Kong and the mainland, where authorities have actually long sought to scrub memories and main records of Tiananmen.For three years, Hong Kongs yearly June 4 candlelight vigil would draw in 10s of thousands of individuals, which– with its slogans for democracy and ending one-party guideline in China– became a sign for the political liberties enjoyed in the city.But Hong Kong authorities have actually banned the last 2 vigils citing both the coronavirus pandemic and security fears.This year, Beijing made it clear it will no longer tolerate Tiananmen ceremonies in Hong Kong or Macau, the only two locations within China where public remembrance could take place.Multiple organisers of the annual vigil– consisting of Chow– were charged with the national security criminal activity of subversion while a June 4 museum they ran was closed by authorities and its displays hauled away.Unlawful assembly prosecutions have actually been brought against activists who took part in both the 2020 and this years banned Tiananmen vigils.Previously, 16 activists and political leaders– including prominent advocate Joshua Wong– were sentenced to 6 to 10 months in jail over their functions in the vigil, with a few given suspended sentences.( AFP).
Released on: 09/12/2021 – 04:47
Jailed Hong Kong media magnate Jimmy Lai was among 3 democracy campaigners convicted on Thursday for participating in a banned Tiananmen vigil as the prosecution of several activists came to a conclusion.