Jimmy Lai, Democracy Activists Convicted for Joining Tiananmen Vigil

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and two other prominent activists, were convicted on Thursday for taking part in a banned Tiananmen vigil in 2020.

Lai, along with former journalist Gwyneth Ho and rights lawyer Chow Hang Tung were convicted for inciting and taking part in an unauthorized assembly. 

The three men appeared in the Hong Kong District Court before Judge Amanda Woodcock on Thursday.

Authorities had charged about 24 opposition activists who attended the banned commemoration of the 1989 crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The vigil was a yearly pro-democracy event but the last two vigils were banned by Hong Kong authorities, citing COVID-19 and security risks.

The trio were the last to receive their verdict as they chose to oppose their charges. The three had challenged the validity of the vigil’s ban, but the prosecution argued that they were not entitled to do so.

Lai and Chow were convicted of inciting others to take part in the unauthorized assembly, while Ho was found guilty of knowingly taking part in the event. They will be sentenced on Dec. 13, facing a maximum of five years imprisonment.

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