Jimmy Lai, Martin Lee, one of 10 dissidents sentenced to Hong Kong’s outlawed opposition to democratization

Ten Hong Kong dissidents, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, will be sentenced on April 16 for attending an unauthorized rally in 2019 during the height of the anti-Beijing, democratic movement. is.

Lai and six other dissidents attended a mitigation hearing in the morning at the West Kowloon Law Court building on their role in the protest on August 18, 2019. Seven dissidents were convicted of unauthorized rally in March after being arrested in April. last year.

More than 1.7 million Hong Kongers gathered at a rally in Victoria Park, hosted by the local democratization group Civil Human Rights, on August 18, 2019, in protest of the Chinese Communist Party’s expulsion bill. .. Send people charged with crimes in Hong Kong to China for trial. Police approved the rally, but not the subsequent march.

Hong Kong protest
Protesters will meet during a rally in Victoria Park, Hong Kong, on August 18, 2019. Opposition to democratization continues to rally on the streets of Hong Kong in opposition to the controversial expulsion bill as the city falls into crisis after a wave of peaceful protests. And some fierce clashes. (Billy HC Quoc / Getty Images)

With the exception of Rye, the other six defendants are Lee Cheuk-yan, 64 years old. Margaretton, 73; Leung Kwok-o, 65; Cyd Ho, 66; Albert Ho, 69; Martin Lee is a barrister who is called the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong.

Seven pleaded not guilty in February, and two other dissidents, Leung Yiu-chung (67) and Au Nok-hin (33), pleaded guilty.

The court will rule against all nine dissidents later on Friday, and another court hearing on Friday afternoon will issue additional decisions.

The afternoon incident involved three dissidents, Lai, Lee Chu-kyang, and Young Sam, over their role in the August 31, 2019 protest.

On Friday morning, about 100 people lined up outside the court building in West Kowloon, listening to the case and expressing their support for the seven dissidents. A woman in black with a black hat put up a placard with the words “release all political prisoners.”

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(LR) Representative of the Consulates of Australia, Canada, Sweden, France and the Netherlands outside the West Kowloon Law Court Building in Hong Kong on April 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-lung / The Epoch Times)

Representatives of consulates from several countries, including Australia, Canada, France and Sweden, and Charles Whiteley, Deputy Director of the European Union offices in Hong Kong and Macau, also attended the hearing. He said the proceeding was “a legitimate interest for the international community.”

“We track today’s results and reflect them,” Whiteley said.

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Charles Whiteley, Deputy Director of the European Union Offices in Hong Kong and Macau, will speak to reporters outside the West Kowloon Law Court Building in Hong Kong on April 16, 2021. (SungPi-lung / The Epoch Times)

Former Democratic Party chairman Emily Lau Waihin also attended the hearing. She said she was happy to see the presence of the Hong Kong consular group coming to the hearing.

“We want to know what is happening to the international community. We hope that Hong Kong is still an international city and our core values ​​will not be completely destroyed,” Lau said. I am. “I hope they can get a free, fair and objective trial and verdict.”

“Maybe some of us will end up behind the bar, but we have to keep fighting,” she added.

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Martin Lee, outside the West Kowloon Law Court in Hong Kong, April 16, 2021. (Sung Pi-lung / The Epoch Times)

“We won’t give up,” Lee told reporters when he arrived in court. “If you keep trying, you have hope,” he added.

“Government can lock us behind the bar, but it’s not conscience and we can’t lock our hearts. We’re not the first [group] It’s the number of prisoners of conscience, and we won’t be the last. “

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On April 16, 2021, outside the West Kowloon Law Court in Hong Kong, Margaretton, Lee Chukyan, and Figochan, convenors of the civilian human rights camp, a local democratic group. (Sung Pi-lung / The Epoch Times)

Local council member Cary Lo said the Hong Kong government deprived people of freedom of speech, including the ability to comment on politics, and had no place for people to express their views on Beijing’s acquisition of power in Hong Kong.

Like many Hong Kongers who fled Hong Kong for fear of being prosecuted for participating in recent protests, Law was asked if he planned to leave Hong Kong.

“This is our home, our family. We want to stand here and promise more to serve and save Hong Kong, so we won’t leave here,” Law said.

Leung Kwok-oh shouted, “Peaceful gatherings are not a crime” before entering the court.

The Hong Kong branch of The Epoch Times contributed to the article.