Seven people convicted in Hong Kong in the 2019 anti-democratization movement

Hong Kong (AP) — Seven democratic supporters convicted of organizing and attending an illegal rally during a major anti-government protest in 2019 as Hong Kong continues to crack down on complaints Received.

The seven activists include media mogul and founder of Apple Daily’s tabloid Jimmy Lai, and 82-year-old Martin Lee, a veteran of the city’s democratic movement. Rye had already held without bail on other charges related to his democratic efforts.

A group of activists were convicted of being involved in a protest held on August 18, 2019. Protest organizers say 1.7 million people marched that day in protest of a bill that would allow criminal suspects to be handed over to mainland China for a trial.

Prior to the trial, supporters and some defendants gathered outside the courtroom and shouted slogans such as “against political persecution” and “five demands, not a few.” Protests and universal suffrage.

“So, in a very difficult situation in Hong Kong that day, political retaliation rests on us,” said Lee Chu-Kyan, one of the defendants, before the court session.

“No matter what happens in the future, we are still moving forward. We believe in the people of Hong Kong, our brothers and sisters in our struggle. If the people of Hong Kong are tenacious, the victory is ours. “He said.

Hong Kong was shaken by months of protests in late 2019 triggered by the delivery bill. The bill was eventually withdrawn, but protests expanded to include full democracy and other demands, sometimes leading to violence between protesters and police.

In the aftermath of the protest, Beijing took a stricter stance against dissenting opinions, enacting the National Security Act in Hong Kong and approving electoral reforms that reduce the role of the public in voting by city council members.

Participating in illegal rallies and riots in Hong Kong can result in up to 10 years’ imprisonment for serious crimes.