July 19, 2024

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Justice declares fourteen pro-democracy activists “guilty”.

Justice declares fourteen pro-democracy activists “guilty”.

On Thursday, May 30, a Hong Kong judge announced fourteen pro-democracy activists “guilty feeling” subjugation It is the biggest investigation of pro-democracy supporters in the financial center since Beijing introduced a national security law. It is the largest case linked to the law, which was promulgated in mid-2020 and followed large pro-democracy protests in the southern Chinese territory in 2019, which at times turned violent.

In total, authorities have charged 47 leading opposition figures from across the political spectrum “Conspiracy for the Purpose of Confusion”, claimed that their political activities were aimed at overthrowing the government. The court on Thursday decided the case against 16 of the 47 accused.

High Court Judge Andrew Chan on Thursday declined to name the fourteen defendants found guilty of vandalism, including former MPs Leung Kwak-hung (pseudonym). Long hair “, “long hair”) and Ray Chan, as well as former journalist Gwyneth Ho. On the other hand, the court found two former district councilors not guilty. Sentencing is expected later this year.

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Offenses punishable with life imprisonment

The convicted activists planned to undermine the government’s authority. “In our view, this would have led to a constitutional crisis for Hong Kong.”, wrote three hand-picked High Court judges. Most of the accused are in jail since 2021.

All were charged in 2021 “Conspiracy to commit acts of sabotage”Acts punishable by life imprisonment after organizing an unofficial primary a year earlier with the aim of electing opposition candidates for assembly elections.

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Their goal was to gain a majority in the city’s partially elected legislature, veto budgets and force Hong Kong’s then-pro-Beijing leader, Carrie Lam, to step down.

The Defense argued that the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which serves as the constitution, provided the means to implement the scheme and therefore was a matter of course.“Purely a political rather than a legal question”.

The trial was held without a jury – a departure from Hong Kong judicial tradition. Nevertheless, the issue was followed closely by the international community. Diplomats from the French and Italian consulates and others from the European Union visited the court on Thursday. The United States and other Western countries have criticized Beijing, saying it is curtailing freedoms promised when the former British colony was handed over to China in 1997.

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American sanctions

In January 2021 Leung Kwok-hung, lawyer Benny Tai and former pro-democracy MP. The arrests of key defendants, including Claudia Mo, led to the US imposing sanctions on six Chinese and Hong Kong officials. Penny Toy and Claudia Moe have decided to plead guilty. US Consul General in Hong Kong Gregory May announced in Washington May. “Keep a close watch on expected judgments and their beliefs”.

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This week, Hong Kong police announced the arrest of seven people in two days “Messages of a Treacherous Nature”. The new National Security Act came into force in March, providing for life imprisonment for five crimes including treason, sedition, espionage, sabotage and foreign intervention.

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The text also eliminated the possibility of a one-third sentence reduction for good behavior for people convicted on national security grounds, a blow to the 31 pro-democracy defendants. .

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The world with AFP

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