Hong Kong: Jimmy Lai jailed again for pro-democracy protests

Hong Kong pro-democracy media mogul Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for participating in an unauthorised assembly in 2019.

Lai, 73, is currently already serving time for participating in other demonstrations that year.

He will serve part of his new sentence consecutively, meaning Mr Lai faces a total of 20 months in jail.

The verdict comes as mainland China is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms.

Lai is among ten prominent activists who were sentenced on Friday for participating in an unlawful assembly on 1 October 2019.

Other activists include Figo Chan, Leung Kwok-hung, known as “Long Hair”, and Lee Cheuk-yan – who were sentenced to 18 months in jail. Leung and Lee are currently both in jail and will also serve their sentences consecutively.

At the sentencing on Friday, Judge Amanda Woodcock said she found claims by some of the defendants that their march on 1 October would be peaceful to be “naïve and unrealistic”, according to a Reuters report.

The protests on China’s national day saw major clashes between protesters and police, with the police chief later calling it “one of Hong Kong’s most violent and chaotic days”.

The tycoon faces at least two other charges imposed under the country’s new national security law, which can carry a maximum term of life in prison.

Lai is one of the most prominent persons to be arrested under the law, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

It makes it easier to punish protesters, and reduces Hong Kong’s autonomy.


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