Hong Kong 47’s landmark test begins amid tight security | Court News
A group of pro-democracy politicians and activists accused of subversion for holding an unofficial primaries.
The national security trial of dozens of people — from former pro-democracy lawmakers to activists and law scholars — has begun in Hong Kong more than two years after they were arrested in criminal cases. police raids across the territory at dawn.
The accused of “subversion” for holding an unofficial primaries to choose their candidates for the 2020 Legislative Council elections that the government later postponed and blamed on the coronavirus pandemic.
There was a heavy police presence, including officers with dogs, outside the West Kowloon Magistrates Court building.
Some people began queuing overnight for a seat in the public gallery, with queues stretching around the building in the morning.
Al Jazeera’s Richard Kimber, reporting from Hong Kong, said: “There is certainly great sympathy for those on trial. “There’s certainly a lot of frustration because it’s taken this long to get to this stage and the detainees haven’t been able to speak out since they were arrested.”
The other things charge included prominent activists Leung Kwok-hung, known by his nickname “Long Hair,” and Gordon Ng Ching-hang, who is likely to face life in prison for being one of five charged. is the “main organizer” of the preliminary.
Those who have pleaded guilty include internationally renowned activists such as Joshua Wongand Claudia Mo, a former journalist turned legislator.
Together, the 47 defendant accounts for most of what’s left of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy leadership after mass protests calling for political reform in 2019 came to an inconclusive end with the COVID-19 pandemic, and national security law pushed many people into exile.
The trial is expected to continue for 90 days.
Sentencing of all defendants will take place after the trial ends.
Under security laweffective June 30, 2020, the defendants face three years in prison for conspiracy to commit subversive activities, between three and 10 years in prison for “active participation” in the conspiracy, and from 10 years to imprisonment if they are considered “primary criminals”.