Hong Kong authorities have sentenced pro-democracy activists on Wednesday for taking part in the banned Tiananmen vigil last year.
Nine of the 12 activists who pleaded guilty to participating in the event were sentenced to six to 10 months imprisonment, while the other three received suspended sentences on the same charges of joining an unlawful assembly.
“The defendants ignored and belittled a genuine public health crisis. They wrongly and arrogantly believed their common purpose was more important than protecting the community of the public’s right to protection from serious health risk,” District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock said.
Amnesty International said the judgment was an “outrageous attack” on the rights and freedom of Hong Kong people.
“It is scandalous that the 12 people formally convicted today have been jailed despite having committed no internationally recognizable crime. Yet there may be worse to come for the organizers of the vigil – some of whom are also facing more serious, yet no less spurious national security charges,” Amnesty International Asia-Pacific Director Yamini Mishra said in a statement.
Last year, Beijing imposed a national security law criminalizing secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.
Authorities arrested more than 100 pro-democracy figures under the law, mostly for expressing political views.
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