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Home / World / Ex-media mogul Jimmy Lai, seven others face jail term over vigil

Ex-media mogul Jimmy Lai, seven others face jail term over vigil

The sentences — between four months and 14 months — were the latest example of the wide-ranging crackdown on free speech in the city, a former British colony
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

Vivian Wang And Austin Ramzy   |   Hong Kong   |   Published 14.12.21, 03:02 AM

A Hong Kong court on Monday sentenced the former media mogul Jimmy Lai and seven other prominent pro-democracy activists to prison for their roles last year in trying to commemorate Beijing’s June 4, 1989, crackdown on peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square.

The sentences — between four months and 14 months — were the latest example of the wide-ranging crackdown on dissent and free speech in the city, a former British colony that once had significantly stronger civil liberties than the rest of China.

While this case was not prosecuted under a stringent national security law imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing last year, several of the defendants, including Lai, also face separate charges under that law.

Lai and the other activists — including Chow Hang-tung, Gwyneth Ho and Lee Cheuk-Yan — gathered on June 4 last year in Victoria Park before an annual vigil organised by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, a pro-democracy group.

The alliance had hosted those vigils, a potent symbol of Hong Kong’s differences from the rest of China, in the park for three decades. But the government banned the gathering last year, citing the coronavirus pandemic, and again this year.

Lai received 13 months in prison from the judge, Amanda J. Woodcock.  Lee, a former lawmaker and leader of the alliance, received the heaviest sentence, 14 months.

New York Times News Service 



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