Publicado: 15/04/2021

Hong Kong veteran democracy activists to be sentenced

Hong Kong veteran democracy activists to be sentenced

Hong Kong (AFP) -

Nine veteran Hong Kong democracy activists -- including publisher Jimmy Lai -- will be sentenced on Friday for their roles in one of the city's biggest-ever protests.

Organisers say 1.7 million people -- almost one quarter of Hong Kong's population -- turned out for a huge rally that formed the backbone of demonstrations that wracked the city throughout 2019.

The nine include some of Hong Kong's most prominent democracy campaigners, many of whom have spent decades advocating non-violence in their ultimately fruitless campaign for universal suffrage.

They are the latest in a string of anti-establishment figures to face the courts as China implements a sweeping crackdown on dissent.

Supporters, family members, journalists and diplomats -- representing the EU, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and Germany -- were present at the hearing.

Among the defendants are Martin Lee, 82, a respected barrister known as the 'father of democracy' in Hong Kong, who was once chosen by Beijing to help write the city's mini-constitution.

They also include Margaret Ng, a 73-year-old barrister and former opposition lawmaker.

Media tycoon Lai, 73, was brought to the court from custody, where he is being held after arrest under Beijing's new national security law.

All nine were convicted of organising an unauthorised assembly on August 18, 2019, which called for democracy and greater police accountability.

Five defendants who had earlier pleaded not guilty submitted their mitigation on Friday morning.

'There is no right so precious to the people of Hong Kong as the freedom of expression and the freedom of peaceful assembly,' said barrister Margaret Ng who discharged her legal team and gave her statement in person.

She added that she's prepared to stand with and stand up for the people who 'in the last resort, had to give collective expression of their anguish and urge the government to respond'.

'I stand the law's good servant but the people's first,' said Ng, whose submission ended with a round of loud applause in courtroom.

Judge Amanda Woodcock earlier said in her verdict that the march had caused serious traffic disruption and the fact the march was peaceful was no defence.

The sentencing is expected to be handed down later on Friday.

The months-long rallies in 2019 often descended into clashes between riot police and a knot of hardcore participants, and posed the most concerted challenge to China's rule since the former British colony's 1997 handover.

Since then, authorities unleashed a broad crackdown with the imposition of a sweeping security law that criminalises much dissent, and passed a radical overhaul of the city's electoral system.

Más en Zeta

Nada de perros

Nada de perros

07 May 2021
Un fiscal dijo que en las investigaciones que realizaron sobre los albergues, no se encontró evidencia sobre comida de perros para los niños. Varias diputadas habían hecho la afirmación. Ahora queda la duda. Perjudicando a la genteLos taxistas que cerraron varias vías en Panamá, Panamá Oeste y P...

Prohibir las armas de asalto en EE.UU.

ZETA, (AMY GOODMAN-DENIS MOYNIHAN).- Las masacres ocurridas recientemente en la ciudad de Boulder, en Colorado, y en el área metropolitana de la ciudad de Atlanta, en Georgia, con un saldo de diez y ocho muertos, respectivamente, son solo dos casos más de la violencia sin sentido con armas de fue...

La justicia no tiene espacios para más desatinos

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).-Las próximas dos semanas, este espacio abordará dos deficiencias estructurales que la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá (CCIAP) ha planteado por más de dos quinquenios e insistimos deben ser atendidas de manera urgente para enrumbar nuestro de...

Libertad económica y libre empresa

ZETA, (JEAN PIERRE LEIGNADIER*).- Desde su fundación hace 105 años, la Cámara de Comercio, Industrias y Agricultura de Panamá ha tenido como unos de sus pilares la defensa de la libertad económica y la libre empresa como factores indispensables para el progreso sostenido y sostenible del país. E...

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.