Highlights

  • 12 defendants pleaded guilty to participating in the vigil 
  • 9 sentenced to jail, 3 handed suspended sentences 
  • All charged with taking part in an unauthorised assembly

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Activists and former lawmakers in Hong Kong sentenced to jail for partaking in banned vigil

Nine activists and former lawmakers in Hong Kong sentenced to jail for up to 10 months for their involvement in 2020's banned Tiananmen candlelight vigil.

In yet another blow to dissent in Hong Kong, nine activists and former lawmakers were handed jail sentences for up to 10 months, for participating in a banned candlelight vigil. These 9 individuals were a part of a group of 12 defendants who pleaded guilty to participating in the protest. The remaining three have been given suspended sentences. 

While all were charged with taking part in an unauthorised assembly, 7 were also charged with inciting others to participate in the protest. Among those sentenced were Albert Ho and Figo Chan, former leaders of the now-defunct Civil Human Rights Front, who are already in jail on previous charges of attending unauthorised protests. 

Jimmy Lai, the founder of now-defunct newspaper Apple Daily, and alliance leader Lee Cheuk-yan are among the eight activists who have pleaded not guilty and will stand trial in November. 

For the first time in 3 decades, Tiananmen candlelight vigil was banned by the police citing public health risks, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. But critics say, the underlying cause is a larger crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong.

Before it was banned, every year on June 4, large crowds would gather for the candlelight vigil, to commemorate the 1989 Beijing crackdown. 

Also Watch| Hong Kong: Billionaire Jimmy Lai jailed for pro-democracy protests 

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