Hong Kong activists jailed for unauthorised protest in 2020

Among these convicted have been Figo Chan of the now-disbanded Civil Human Rights Front and two former legislators.

Seven Hong Kong democracy campaigners, together with former lawmakers, have been sentenced on Saturday to as much as 12 months in jail for his or her function in a protest final 12 months in opposition to a sweeping nationwide safety legislation imposed by China.

The seven had pleaded responsible to prices that included organising the unauthorised meeting on July 1, 2020, when hundreds of protesters took to the streets.

Police, who had banned the demonstration citing coronavirus restrictions, fired tear fuel and water cannon to disperse them.

The activists included Figo Chan, a former chief of the now-disbanded Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF); Tsang Kin-shing and Tang Sai-lai of the League of Social Democrats; former district councillor Andy Chui; and former legislators Wu Chi-wai, Eddie Chu and Leung Kwok-hung.

Chan was jailed for 12 months, whereas the others got sentences from six to 10 months.

“The nature of incitement was serious,” mentioned the decide, Douglas Yau, noting that it created the danger of violence.

Beijing imposed a nationwide safety legislation on June 30 final 12 months as a response to widespread anti-government protests in 2019 that roiled town.

The legislation, drawn up by China, units out to punish subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with overseas forces.

The protest passed off the following day – the primary full day below the brand new legislation, although civil society teams had held demonstrations on July 1 for years to champion numerous points, together with democratic rights.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise its wide-ranging freedoms and a excessive diploma of autonomy can be preserved. Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have repeatedly denied curbing human rights and freedoms.

“We could only choose civil disobedience … a peaceful, rational and non-violent way to express our demand against the national security law,” Figo Chan mentioned in mitigation.

“In order to uphold the belief of civil disobedience, I decided to plead guilty, admitting that I violated the ‘evil public order law’.”

At least 370 folks have been arrested that day for unlawful meeting and different offences, with 10 involving violations of the safety legislation, in accordance with police.

Tong Ying-kit, the primary individual convicted below the nationwide safety legislation, was sentenced in July to 9 years in jail for “terrorist activities” and inciting secession.

He was accused of driving his bike that day into riot police whereas carrying a flag with the now-banned protest slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our times”.

According to the Security Bureau, greater than 150 folks have been arrested below the nationwide safety legislation. Among them, 100 folks have been formally charged.