, Dec 9 () –
A Hong Kong court on Thursday sentenced three pro-democracy activists, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, on charges stemming from their participation in the prohibited vigil for the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Along with Lai, the lawyer and vice president of the now defunct Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Democratic Patriotic Movements of China Chow Hang Tung, as well as the activist and former journalist Gwyneth Ho, who have appeared in court.
The tycoon, founder of the defunct pro-democracy newspaper ‘Apple Daily’, has been convicted of inciting others to participate in an unauthorized rally.
Chow has also been found guilty of inciting others to participate in the forbidden vigil, while Ho has been convicted of participating in the event, reports the local outlet ‘Hong Kong Free Press’. The sentences will be pronounced on Monday.
The three activists, who are already in prison subject to different processes under the strict Security Law of the Chinese Special Administrative Region, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges for which they have been brought to trial and have defended in court. that the conviction would violate their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
The Tiananmen Massacre vigil was banned by authorities in 2020 for the first time in three decades for health reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, critical voices say that this ban is part of the measures launched by the Chinese government against the opposition and dissidents in the territory.
At least 26 activists were arrested in connection with the vigil, including many members of the alliance, which organizes the event every year. The group announced its dissolution in September due to accusations by the authorities, who assured that it was working for foreign interests.
Activists like Joshua Wong, however, have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced to between four and ten years in prison. Others, like Nathan Law and Sunny Cheung, have left town.