WASHINGTON – Nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were sentenced in 1989 to several months in prison for participating in an unauthorized candlelight vigil in Tiananmen Square to brutally crack down on student activists.
The nine defendants include personalities such as Albert Ho and Figo Chan, who were given lengthy sentences for participating in an unauthorized protest in October 2019 at the height of anti-government protests sparked by a controversial extradition bill earlier this month. More demand for greater independence for the financial center.
Nine defendants pleaded guilty earlier this month to the 2020 candlelight vigil that authorities banned, citing the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic. Every year, Beijing commemorates the 18th anniversary of the student-led pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, where they call for an end to government corruption, political reform and a more just and open society.
Human rights groups believe thousands of people were killed when tanks circled Tiananmen Square to quell the protests.
Nine workers were sentenced to six to ten months in prison. The other three defendants who pleaded guilty to participating in last year’s Jagran received suspended sentences.
Demonstrations in 2001 persuaded Beijing last year to pass a comprehensive national security law for Hong Kong under which anyone believed terrorism, separatism, erosion of state power or collusion with foreign forces could be carried out and, if convicted, could face life in prison.
Since the law went into effect last year, Hong Kong authorities have put increasing pressure on pro-democracy forces in the city.
Some of the information in this report comes from the Associated Press and Reuters.