Hong Kong court convicts 14 pro-democracy activists

30 May 2024, 03:54

Hong Kong Security Law Families
Hong Kong Security Law Families. Picture: PA

The defendants were among 47 democracy advocates prosecuted in 2021 for their involvement in an unofficial primary election.

A Hong Kong court has convicted 14 pro-democracy activists under a law imposed by Beijing that has all but wiped out public dissent.

Those who were found guilty included former politicians Leung Kwok-hung, Lam Cheuk-ting, Helena Wong and Raymond Chan, but the three judges approved by the government to oversee the case acquitted two former district councillors Lee Yue-shun and Lawrence Lau.

The 16 defendants were among 47 democracy advocates prosecuted in 2021 for their involvement in an unofficial primary election.

Hong Kong Security Law Verdict
Police officers stand guard outside the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts in Hong Kong (Chan Long Hei/AP)

Prosecutors had accused them of attempting to paralyse Hong Kong’s government and topple the city’s leader by securing the legislative majority necessary to indiscriminately veto budgets.

Mitigation hearings will be scheduled to determine the sentences of those convicted who face up to life in prison.

When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, Beijing promised to retain the city’s Western-style civil liberties for 50 years.

But since the introduction of the 2020 law, Hong Kong authorities have severely limited free speech and assembly under the rubric of maintaining national security. Many activists were arrested, silenced or forced into self-exile. Dozens of civil society groups disbanded.

Legal scholar Benny Tai and former student leader Joshua Wong were among 31 of the democracy advocates who pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit subversion. They have a better chance at shorter jail terms and will be sentenced at a later date.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Alex Jones speaking to the media after arriving at court in Houston, Texas, for a hearing in front of a bankruptcy judge on Friday

Judge rules Alex Jones’ assets to be sold to help pay Sandy Hook debt

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa raises his hands in parliament after being re-elected for a second term

Cyril Ramaphosa re-elected as South African president for second term after deal

Co-founder of Ozy Media, Carlos Watson arrives at Brooklyn Federal Court, for an earlier hearing

Google chief gives evidence at fraud trial of Ozy Media founder

Justice Department

US attorney general will not be prosecuted for contempt of Congress

A 12-year-old child was injured at the Valkea shopping centre in Oulu after a stabbing

'Far-right' knifeman attacks two children at Finnish shopping centre, leaving 12-year-old seriously wounded

The leaders of France left-wing coalition for the upcoming election Green Party Yannick Jadot, Communist Party national secretary Fabien Roussel, Socialist Party Secretary General Olivier Faure Presid

France’s leftist alliance leaders vow to ‘extinguish the flame’ of far right

G7 world leaders and other leaders from guest nations attend a working session on artificial intelligence, on day two of the 50th G7 summit in southern Italy

G7 leaders tackle migration, AI and economic security on final day of summit

Cyril Ramaphosa listens as members of parliament are sworn in ahead of an expected vote to decide if he is re-elected as leader of the country

Ramaphosa set for re-election in South Africa after coalition agreement

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky talks to journalists during a news conference in Italy

How 50 billion-dollar loan for Ukraine backed by frozen Russian assets will work

Lynn Conway sitting on a bench at the University of Michigan

Lynn Conway, microchip pioneer who overcame transgender prejudice, dies aged 86

Johnny Canales on stage at the Tejano Music Awards in San Antonio, Texas in 2012

Tejano singer and TV host Johnny Canales dies at 77

A rare white buffalo calf, reportedly born in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley, with an adult buffalo on grassland

Reported birth of rare white buffalo calf ‘fulfils tribal prophecy’

An Israeli flag flutters next to a fire burning in an area near the border with Lebanon, northern Israel

Hezbollah warns its intensified attacks show Israel all-out war would be costly

Vladimir Putin

Putin pledges ceasefire in Ukraine if Kyiv withdraws troops and drops Nato bid

Actor and producer Ron Simons pictured in a red jumper during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Ron Simons dies aged 63

Chamchuri with her newborn elephant twins in Ayutthaya province, Thailand

Rare twin elephants in Thailand receive monks’ blessings