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Hong Kong activists jailed for illegal assembly in 2019 protests

HONG KONG, Sept 1 – Seven Hong Kong democracy activists were being sentenced on Wednesday to up to 16 months in jail for their job in an unauthorized assembly at the peak of anti-government protests in 2019.

They had pleaded responsible to costs, which includes organizing and inciting others to acquire section in the illegal assembly on Oct. 20, 2019, when tens of countless numbers took to the streets and police fired tear gasoline and h2o cannon to disperse them.

The activists involved Figo Chan, a previous convenor of the now-disbanded Civil Human Legal rights Front (CHRF) Raphael Wong and Avery Ng of the League of Social Democrats political party and former legislators Cyd Ho, Yeung Sum, Albert Ho and Leung Kwok-hung, who is regarded in Hong Kong as “Long Hair”.

The sentences ranged from 11 months to 16 months.

Apart from Raphael Wong, the other defendants were all serving jail time in relation to other illegal assembly instances.

Pro-democracy activist Avery Ng gestures to the media before a demo more than expenses connected to an unauthorized assembly on October 1, 2019, outside the court docket in Hong Kong, China May well 17, 2021.
Reuters/Lam Yik

Decide Amanda Woodcock told the District Court docket that when the city’s mini-structure “guarantees freedom of assembly, procession and demonstration,” all those rights are “not absolute.”

“Restrictions have been utilized in the pursuits of community safety, public purchase and the defense of others’ legal rights and freedoms,” she claimed, referring to the Oct. 20 rally.

The sentences are the most up-to-date to be handed down in relationship with from time to time violent demonstrations that roiled the global monetary hub in 2019.

The demonstrations ended up activated by Beijing’s tightening manage around the former British colony, which was promised wide freedoms when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing imposed a nationwide stability law last yr that critics say is aimed at stamping out dissent, an assertion authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong reject.

Some democracy campaigners mentioned the room for opposition voices was “shrinking”.

“We hope absolutely everyone understands that this is political prosecution,” Chan Po-ying, the chairwoman of the League of Social Democrats, mentioned outside the house court.

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