Nine Hong Kong democracy activists were sentenced to six to ten months in prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty to attending Candlelight Vigil in 2020 to commemorate the Tiananmen Square incident.
The other three were sentenced to probation on the same charges of attending an unauthorized rally in the city’s Victoria Park on June 4, 2020.
The normally annual event was banned in 2020 and 2021 by Hong Kong police, citing concerns about the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Nonetheless, thousands of locals opposed the ban and gathered for 2020 alerts to commemorate the June 3-4, 1989 event. Democracy activist at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
On September 9, twelve democratic activists pleaded guilty to participating in the 2020 alert. Seven of them were given an additional fee to incite others to attend the event.
“Defendants ignored and downplayed the true public health crisis,” District Court judge Amanda Woodcock said Wednesday, Reuters reported.
“They mistakenly arrogantly believed that their common purpose was more important than protecting their right to protection from serious health risks to the community and the public,” Woodcock added. ..
She knew of the June 4th event, but said there were “other options and creative options to consider, such as an interactive online rally,” that the organizers could have considered. Hong Kong Free Press reported.
“I think deterrence and punitive judgments are appropriate,” she added.
Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director, Yamini Mishra, has accused the 12 Hongkongers of “another exorbitant attack on freedom of expression, association and the right to peaceful assembly.”
so statement, She said the 12 were “not committing internationally recognized crimes.”
“It could be worse for the vigilance organizers. Some of them are facing more serious but not so false” national security “accusations,” she said. rice field.
“Despite the relentless attempts of Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to erase history by imprisoning people who light candles peacefully for the victims of the Tiananmen Square incident, June 4 in Hong Kong and around the world. This atrocities will never be forgotten by the continued support of the movement. “
Hong Kong’s Candlelight Vigil is famous for being the only large-scale rally in China to commemorate the Tiananmen Square Incident, and is traditionally the largest rally of its kind in the world.
The Hong Kong Alliance, which supports China’s movement for democratic socialism, has organized annual vigilance since 1990.
Former Vice-President Albert Ho was sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison, 6 months to attend alert and 10 months to incite.
The other two (former leader of the Civil Human Rights Front, Figo Chan and former Democratic Party member Andrew Wang) received similar decisions.
Ho and Chan have already served for 18 months in connection with other cases related to other parliaments in 2019 and will provide a new ruling at the same time.
Other former lawmakers, including Eddie Chu, Leung Kwok-o, Leung Kwok-o, and Sid Ho, were sentenced to six months in prison for participation.
Labor Party President Kwok Wingkin and former district councilor and former standing member of the Hong Kong Alliance, both sentenced to four months to participate and eight months to incite. In prison for a total of 8 months.
Three former members of the Standing Committee of the Hong Kong Alliance have been sentenced to suspended sentence. Cheung Man-Kwong and Mak Hoi-wah received 4 months to participate and 8 months to incite. Each will serve a total of eight months in a prison that has been suspended for 18 months. Leung Kwok-wah has been suspended for 4 and 12 months due to his participation.
Last week police arrested four key members of Hong Kong Alliance under strict national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020.
Police have accused the Hong Kong Alliance of being a “foreign military agent,” but denied it.
The 12 activists dealt with on Wednesday were one of a total of 26 activists charged with candlelight vigil in 2020. Nathan Law and Sunny Cheung fled the city before being summoned to court in September 2020.
Other prominent young activists, Joshua Wong, Leicester Sham, Tiffany Yuen and Janel Leon, were sentenced to imprisonment in April after being found guilty of an unlawful session. In May, Wong was sentenced to another 10 months in prison.
The other eight defendants indicted will be brought to trial in November. They pleaded not guilty.
Frank Fang contributed to this report.