Godfather of Hong Kong Democracy Movement Convicted for Big 2019 Protest

HONG KONG—Martin Lee, the eighty two-calendar year-outdated attorney credited with serving to observed Hong Kong’s democracy movement, and newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai had been among the seven veteran activists observed responsible by a decide on costs relevant to a mass demonstration in 2019.

The Thursday responsible verdicts increase the prospect of jail time for a distinguished team of democracy campaigners who have been combating to protect the rule of law in the former British colony since in advance of it was returned to China in the late nineties. Sentencing on the costs, which can carry up to 5 years’ jail time, was established for later on this month.

“We believe that we had been just doing exercises our constitutional rights to protest appear what may perhaps,” stated the labor leader Lee Cheuk-yan, 1 of the defendants, just after the verdict. “It will be a badge of honor for us to go to jail for combating for flexibility and rights for Hong Kong folks.”

The trial is part of a wave of prosecutions underneath way in Hong Kong as China crushes dissent in the former British colony. Amid a continuing crackdown that worsened final calendar year when China imposed a sweeping national protection law, several of the city’s democracy campaigners are now both on trial, in jail or residing in exile.

Just after the decide browse out the verdict Thursday, a lead prosecutor termed on the decide to revoke bail until sentencing, stating the offenses had been major and risked plunging Hong Kong into anarchy by undermining general public buy. Defendants, nevertheless, had been granted bail but cannot depart Hong Kong.