A prominent anti-democratic leader is already in jail and has been re-tried in accordance with national security law.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong faces up to 10 months in prison for participating in an illegal June 4 rally to commemorate the 1989 genocide in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Wong, 24, is already in jail on charges of conspiracy to commit atrocities and 47 of the 47 freedom fighters convicted under the city’s defense law were sentenced on Thursday in the District Court.
The 15-month sentence was reduced to 10 months for being asked to attend the ceremony. They will spend the rest of their lives in prison, instead of just one.
Last year was the first time a ban had been issued on June 4 in the region, with police announcing anti-coronavirus protests at group meetings, as did all protests last year.
However, thousands of people protested the ban and lit candles in the city over what had been a peaceful event, except for a temporary crackdown on violent police in one state.
#BREAKING #Makhadzi freedom fighter Joshua Wong is jailed for 10 months for taking part in a June 4 candlelight vigil to commemorate 1989 #TiananmenSquareMassacre last year, consecutively up to 4 months now he is also serving on another case related to demonstrations pic.twitter.com/m0XYtn39tt
– Damon Pang (@damon_pang) May 6, 2021
Monuments to the Tiananmen massacre are banned in China, but in Hong Kong they usually hold the largest demonstrations in the world each year, with the promise of a new return to Chinese rule in 1997, including freedom of expression and assembly.
Judge Stanley Chan also sentenced Lester Shum, Jannelle Leung and Tiffany Yuen between four and six months in prison. Twenty others facing similar charges in June 4 in Tiananmen Square are due to appear in court on June 11.
“Freedom of assembly is unlimited,” Chan said.
“The punishment should prevent people from getting hurt and will retaliate in the future.”
‘Respect for the Party’
The commemoration was particularly strong in the former British nation last year, as Beijing set out to establish new security laws punishing what China views as rebellion, secession, terrorism or alliance with foreign groups for life.
This year’s Tiananmen Square commemoration of June 4 is a special occasion in Beijing, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party, and is expected to be banned again.
Asked if he remembered those who were tortured by Tiananmen for violating the new security law, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last month said it was important to honor the party.
China did not give a full account of what happened in 1989. The death toll from the authorities was around 300, most of them soldiers, but militant groups and witnesses say thousands of people could have died.
Wong was given a 13-1 / 2 month sentence in December against an illegal anti-government rally on June 21, 2019 and a four-month suspended sentence for holding illegal demonstrations in October 2019 and violating a government ban on face masks.
While in prison, Wong was also arrested in January on suspicion of violating a new security law, enacted in July 2020, by taking part in a series of by-elections in what he called “a bad conspiracy” to seize the government.
The lawsuit under the new security law is the one that punishes them the most.