Sun, 24 Oct 2021

Hong Kong, September 16 (ANI): Nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists on Wednesday were sentenced to between six and 10 months in jail while three others were handed suspended sentences for joining peaceful Tiananmen vigil.

The sentencing came one week after leaders of the group behind the annual vigil were separately accused of inciting subversion following a police raid on a museum in the city dedicated to remembering the crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989, reported Al Jazeera.

The Hong Kong Alliance had organised 30 years of vigils commemorating those who died.

The peaceful June 4 gathering has been banned for the past two years, with authorities citing the coronavirus pandemic and security fears.

China is in the process of remoulding the territory following mass democracy protests in 2019 that sometimes descended into violence, imposing national security legislation last year that makes a crime of any act Beijing deems subversion, secession, "terrorism" and collusion with foreign forces.

On Tuesday, Chris Tang, a former police chief promoted to security secretary this year, said Hong Kong was working on developing a host of new national security offences, reported Al Jazeera.

Since Beijing imposed the law, prominent democracy figures have been arrested and anyone deemed "unpatriotic" purged.

On Wednesday, Albert Ho, former vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance, was handed terms of 10 months for incitement and six months for attending the vigil.

His terms will be served concurrently with the 18 months he is already serving in relation to other cases.

The case over the 2020 vigil involved a total of 26 activists from across Hong Kong, reported Al Jazeera.

Two - Nathan Law and Sunny Cheung - had already gone into exile before the group were first summoned to court in September last year.

Joshua Wong, Lester Shum, Tiffany Yuen and Janelle Leung were handed jail terms earlier this year for attending the vigil.

The last eight defendants, who pleaded not guilty, will face trial in November.

In recent years, crowds at the annual event had swelled as anger intensified over how Beijing was running Hong Kong, reported Al Jazeera. (ANI)

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