Nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were given prison sentences ranging from six to 10 months after being convicted for participating in a candlelight vigil in 2020 to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Another three people received suspended sentences for a similar charge of participating in an unauthorized gathering at the city’s Victoria Park on June 4, 2020.
Annual events as usual were banned in 2020 and 2021 by Hong Kong police, which cited concerns over the spread of the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus.
Despite this, thousands of locals defied the ban and gathered for a 2020 vigil to commemorate the events of June 3–4, 1989, potentially hundreds after the CCP ordered its troops to fire. Or thousands of innocent people lost their lives. Democracy activists in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.
On 9 September, 12 pro-democracy activists pleaded guilty to participating in the 2020 surveillance. Seven of them were additionally charged with inciting others to attend the event.
“The defendants ignored and downplayed a real public health crisis,” District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock said.
Woodcock continued, “They wrongly and arrogantly believed that their general purpose was more important than protecting the community or the public’s right to safety from serious health risk.”
She said that while she was aware of the June 4 event, there were “other options and creative options” organizers could consider to consider, such as an interactive online vigil, the Hong Kong Free Press reported.
“I consider a deterrent and punitive sentence appropriate,” she said.
Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director Yamini Mishra denounced the punishment of 12 Hong Kong people as “another humiliating attack on their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”.
In a statement, she said the 12 had “committed no internationally recognizable crime.”
“Worse times may come for surveillance organizers – some of whom are facing more serious, yet less spurious, ‘national security’ charges,” she said.
“Despite the relentless efforts of the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to erase history by jailing people who peacefully light candles for the victims of the Tiananmen crackdown, the continued support for the Fourth of June movement in Hong Kong and around the world shows that it Atrocities will never be forgotten.”
Hong Kong’s candlelight Tiananmen Square is famous for being the only large-scale public gathering on Chinese soil to commemorate the massacre, and is traditionally the largest vigil of its kind in the world.
The Hong Kong Alliance has been organizing annual surveillance since 1990 in support of the Patriotic Democratic Movements in China.
Albert Ho, its former vice president, was sentenced to a total of 10 months in prison – six months for participating in surveillance and 10 months for abetment.
Two others – former Civil Human Rights Front leader Figo Chan and former Democratic Party MP Andrew Wan – received similar sentences.
Both Ho and Chan are already serving 18 months in 2019 related to other matters related to other legislatures, and will serve new sentences as well.
Other former lawmakers, including Eddie Choo, Yeung Sum, Leung Kwok-hung and Seid Ho, were sentenced to 6 months in prison for involvement.
Labor Party chairman Kwok Wing-qin and former district councilor and former Hong Kong Alliance Standing Committee member Chiu Yan-loy were both sentenced to 4 months for involvement and 8 months for incitement, which comes to a total of 8 months. in jail.
Three former standing committee members of the Hong Kong Alliance received suspended sentences. Cheung Man-Kwang and Mak Hoi-Wah received 4 months for participation and 8 months for stimulation. Suspended for every 18 months will serve a total of 8 months in jail. Leung Kwok-Wah got 4 months to participate, was suspended for 12 months.
Last week the police arrested four key members hong kong Coalition under strict national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020.
Police accuse the Hong Kong Alliance of being an “agents of foreign forces”, which it denies.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times