Manitoba Daily

Friday, January 28, 2022

Over the Tiananmen Square vigil, a Hong Kong tycoon and two others were sentenced

Two others have been convicted in relation with the Tiananmen Square vigil.

Key takeaways:

  • On Thursday, Jimmy Lai and two others were found guilty of taking part in the illegal Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil last year.
  • Lai was found guilty of instigating others to participate in the assembly, while Ho was guilty of knowingly participating.

Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong entrepreneur, famous pro-democracy campaigner, and two others were found guilty on Thursday of participating in the prohibited Tiananmen Square candlelight vigil last year, amid a crackdown on dissent in the city of Beijing’s increasing political control.

Most of the activists prosecuted in connection with the unlawful rally had already pleaded guilty, including vocal campaigner Joshua Wong, who was sentenced to ten months in prison for his role in the vigil. After being convicted of various counts relating to his activism, he was already doing time in prison.

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They are among 24 activists charged with participating in an unauthorized assembly at Victoria Park on June 4 last year, when thousands of people gathered to light lights and sing songs despite police warnings that they were breaching the law.

The Hong Kong Alliance traditionally held a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 each year to commemorate the 1989 violent crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

For the first time in three decades, officials prohibited the demonstration last year, citing social distance limits and public health hazards owing to the coronavirus. This year’s rally was likewise prohibited.

Before the ban, huge crowds gathered for the yearly candlelight vigil, the sole large-scale public remembrance of the 1989 Beijing crackdown on Chinese soil.

Hong Kong tycoon, two others convicted over Tiananmen vigil
Hong Kong tycoon, two others convicted over Tiananmen vigil. Image from The Indian Express

Lai was found guilty of instigating others to participate in the assembly, while Ho was guilty of knowingly participating. Chow, a barrister, was found guilty of encouraging the vigil and participating in it.

Previously, the trio had pleaded not guilty to the accusations. On Monday, they will enter mitigation requests before sentences are handed down.

“The Hong Kong govt has once again flouted international law by convicting activists simply for their participation in a peaceful, socially distanced vigil for those killed by Chinese troops on June 4, 1989,” rights group Amnesty International’s deputy secretary-general Kyle Ward said in a statement.

“These convictions just highlight the Hong Kong authorities’ history of attempting to misuse the law to bring several fabricated accusations against renowned campaigners,” he said.

According to Ward, prosecuting those mourning and remembering the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown is an “egregious infringement on freedom of expression and assembly.”

Source: CTV News

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