Nine campaigners jailed in Hong Kong for organising anti-government protests

Nine campaigners jailed in Hong Kong for organising anti-government protests
A Chinese national flag and a Hong Kong flag on the National Security Education Day at a police school in Hong Kong Thursday, April 15, 2021. Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong on Thursday warned foreign forces not to interfere with the “bottom line” of national security in Hong Kong, threatening retaliation even amid ongoing tensions between China and Western powers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Nine of Hong Kong’s leading pro-democracy advocates were sentenced to jail terms for organising a march during the 2019 anti-government protests that triggered an overwhelming crackdown from Beijing.

The defendants, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, were found guilty earlier this month of organising and participating in a massive protest in August 2019, where an estimated 1.7 million people marched in opposition to a bill that would have allowed suspects to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

The protest was not authorised by the police.

Protesters gesture with five fingers, signifying the “Five demands – not one less” outside a court in Hong Kong (Kin Cheung/AP)

Their convictions and sentencing were the latest blow to the city’s flagging democracy movement, amid an ongoing crackdown by Beijing and Hong Kong authorities on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Some of the defendants had their jail terms suspended, after their age was taken into consideration.

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