14 pro-democracy activists convicted, 2 acquitted in Hong Kong’s biggest national security case

In a major blow to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, 14 activists have been convicted and two acquitted in what is being called the city’s biggest national security case. The activists were charged under the controversial national security law imposed by Beijing last year, which criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

Among those convicted are some of the most prominent figures in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai, former lawmaker Martin Lee, and veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung. The activists were accused of organizing and participating in an unauthorized assembly on October 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The trial, which lasted for several months, has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency and fairness. Many believe that the national security law is being used as a political tool to silence dissent and suppress opposition in Hong Kong.

The convictions have sparked outrage and condemnation from human rights organizations, foreign governments, and pro-democracy activists worldwide. Amnesty International called the verdict a “crushing blow” to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Hong Kong.

The two acquitted activists, Albert Ho and Margaret Ng, were praised for their courage and resilience in the face of political persecution. However, their acquittal does little to alleviate the concerns about the erosion of freedoms and rights in Hong Kong.

The sentencing of the convicted activists is scheduled for a later date, but they could face lengthy prison terms under the national security law. The verdict is seen as a clear sign that Beijing is tightening its grip on Hong Kong and cracking down on dissent.

The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong has been facing increasing pressure and persecution since the introduction of the national security law. Many activists have been arrested, charged, and jailed for their involvement in protests and advocacy for democracy.

Despite the challenges and risks, the fight for democracy and freedom in Hong Kong continues. The convictions of these activists serve as a stark reminder of the importance of upholding democratic values and defending human rights in the face of authoritarianism. It is crucial for the international community to stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong and support their struggle for democracy and freedom.

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