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Jimmy Lai among three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists convicted for being wary of Tiananmen

Jimmy Lai, founder of now-closed Apple Daily, was among the three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists found guilty on Thursday of illegally gathering at a June 4 ceremony to remember Tiananmen Square repression in 1989.

A Hong Kong court has ruled against media tycoon Lai, lawyer Chow Hang Tung and former opposition politician Gwyneth Ho.

All three pleaded not guilty to inciting others to attend a meeting last year.

Police in Hong Kong have banned the June 4 memorial services for Tiananmen Square for the past two years citing coronavirus restrictions.

Mr. Lai faces seven years in prison for inciting willfully to attend an illegal assembly last year. Septuagenarian spent 20 months in prison for his role in the 2019 anti-government protests.

District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock said in her ruling that Chow Hang Tung and Gwyneth Ho were both found guilty of participating in an unauthorized assembly. Mr. Chow was also found guilty of soliciting participation, it was reported.

Last year, thousands of people defied a ban on gatherings to attend a candlelight vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. The vigil is often used to attract crowds. tens of thousands of people on the anniversary, and in 2019, on the 30th anniversary of the persecution, a record 180,000 people attended the vigil.

Hong Kong passed a national security law last year and about 155 former opposition lawmakers and pro-democracy activists have been arrested under the law.

Mr. Lai is facing four charges under the law, including conspiracy to collude with foreign powers.

Last year, the government charged 24 people for their role in the trial, but Mr. Lai, Mr. Chow and Ms. Ho were the only defendants brought to trial.

Five others who have pleaded guilty in the same case will be sentenced on December 13. And others including student activist Joshua Wong have been sentenced to between four and 10 months in prison. Three people were given suspended sentences.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/jimmy-lai-hong-kong-prodemocracy-tiananmen-b1972603.html Jimmy Lai among three Hong Kong pro-democracy activists convicted for being wary of Tiananmen

JACLYN DIAZ

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