On May 28, 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were heavily sentenced to 14 months or 18 months in prison respectively for their involvement in the case of the October 1, 2019 National Day of Mourning parade.
Ten Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were sentenced to 14 months or 18 months respectively by the District Court on May 28 for their involvement in the October 1, 2019 National Day of Mourning march.
Former Labor Party legislator Fernando Cheung said that such a heavy sentence on the eve of June 4 is a scare tactic by the government, “because the rulers do not want the public to express any dissatisfaction with the regime in public.” In a statement on the incident, the British organization Hong Kong Watch said the sentencing of 10 pro-democracy activists made a mockery of the government’s claim to continue to uphold “the Hong Kong Basic Law and freedom of expression” and called on the international community to It also called on the international community to take concerted action against the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
Chen Haohuan chants “June 4 mourning and July 1 voices”
All defendants were remanded in custody on the 28th and taken by prison van to the District Court for sentencing hearings. Before the hearing, Chen Haohuan, Albert Ho, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Kwok Hung and Lai Chi Ying entered the courtroom one after another. Family members and spectators chanted “cheer up, hang in there”, while Chan Ho-hwan and Ho Chun-yan also waved their hands. The defendants also shouted “Don’t forget June 4”.
Among the 10 defendants, four of them – Chan Ho-hwan, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Ho – were sentenced to 18 months in prison, while six of them – Yeung Sum, Ho Sau-lan, Ng Man-yuen, Lai Chi-ying, Shan Chung-kai and Tsoi Yiu-cheong – were sentenced to 14 months in prison. Among them, SIN Chung-kai and CHOI Yiu-cheong were suspended for 2 years, while NG Man-yuen was sentenced to 14 days for violating the probation order, totaling 14 months plus 14 days. The judge decided that the sentence of this case and the previous part of the sentence in installments, Leung Kwok Hung sentence the longest, a total of 22 months in prison, Lai Chi-ying, Lee Cheuk-yan, a total of 20 months in prison.
The judge said that although the defendants had called for peaceful, rational and non-violent rallies at a press conference, the rallies were actually “violent”. She also said the defendant was “naive” because the society was in turmoil in the months before the incident and there were conflicts, the defendant should have understood the potential risk of violence before launching the march.
Single Chung and Choi Yiu-cheong will appeal against the sentence
When he left the court, he said he felt heavy about his friend’s heavy sentence. He described the sentence as a record, “Hong Kong has changed and the court has changed.”
SIN Chung-kai (left) and CHOI Yiu-cheong (right) walk out of the Wanchai District Court.
The Secretary of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (HKASPDMC), Mr. Tsoi Yiu-cheong, also said that he was very sad and intended to appeal the sentence in view of the fact that future cases of similar peaceful demonstrations would be based on this sentence.
As to whether the “June 4” rally will disappear in the future, Tsoi Yiu-cheong admitted that Hong Kong is now facing the most serious moment, the rights and freedoms are affected, but he hopes that we persist in our beliefs, and believe that with a flexible and adaptable approach, will go farther.
Mrs. Leung Kwok Hung: the sentence is too heavy earlier only a fine
A number of democrats and citizens attended the meeting in solidarity, including Leung Kwok Hung’s wife Chan Po Ying, former Legislative Council member Emily Lau, League of Social Democrats member Tsang Kin Shing, “Granny Wong” Wong Fung Yiu, Lai Chi Ying’s family, etc. Joakim Ladeborn, Deputy Consul General of the Swedish Consulate in Hong Kong, and Bishop Joseph Zen, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, were also present at the court. Outside the courtroom, a member of the public held up a banner saying “The people will not forget”.
Mrs. Lai Chi-ying (center) and her daughter (right) attended the court to show their support.
Members of the public who came to show solidarity with the 10 Hong Kong democrats hold up a banner saying “The people will not forget” outside the courtroom.
After the trial, Leung Kwok-hung’s wife, Chan Po-ying, said the sentence was very heavy, as a person like Chan Ho-hwan, who had no criminal record, was sentenced to 18 months in jail, while 10 years ago, Leung Kwok-hung was only sentenced to a fine of several thousand dollars for the same crime.
Leung Kwok-hung’s wife Chan Po-ying said that the sentence was very heavy, while 10 years ago, he was only fined a few thousand dollars for the same crime.
The judge kept repeating that the assembly had a “violent” element, but the charge itself did not contain violence or affect the peace of the community. She believes that this sentence is an attempt to intimidate Hong Kong people into peaceful assembly, causing a chilling effect and limiting the basic rights granted to the public by the constitution, “(the consequence is) as long as the police do not approve, we participate in marches and rallies, we have to face years of imprisonment (penalty).”
For the future “June 4” candlelight vigil and “July 1” march, Chan Po-ying said this is the tradition of Hong Kong, in previous years are legal and peaceful, the police will be approved. The Alliance is appealing against the police’s decision to ban the June 4 rally this year, and the outcome is unknown. She appealed to the public not to forget the original intention, to stand firm in their own positions to defend their rights.
Dr. Fernando Cheung: Hong Kong people will not change their thinking because of the suppression
Former Labor Party legislator Fernando Cheung said that although the 10 defendants were charged with organizing an unauthorized assembly, this time the judge also made it clear that “they appealed to everyone to be peaceful, and when they were on the scene, everyone was also peaceful.” Dr. Fernando Cheung pointed out that the treatment of unauthorized assembly has changed from the previous “self-signing guarantee to abide by the act” to today’s 18- or even 24-month sentencing threshold, which must be imprisoned, and he questioned “where has the coherence, consistency and proportionality of the law gone?
Former Legislative Councilor Fernando Cheung attends the court.
“I have been listening to the trial for the past six months and I have less and less confidence in these trials.” Fernando Cheung described this sentencing as disheartening, “especially when there is such a verdict before ‘June 4’ and such a heavy sentence, I think it creates a deterrent effect politically.” He believes that the government used various intimidation tactics, especially on the eve of June 4, because the rulers did not want the public to express any dissatisfaction with the regime in public. He said that this is a suppression of the freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed by the Basic Law. “The regime continues to use its authority to suppress people’s will, but Hong Kong people will not change their thinking because of the suppression.”
Every year, Hong Kong people hold a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 to commemorate the victims of the June 4 massacre. Last year, on the 31st anniversary of June 4, the police for the first time did not approve the gathering in Victoria Park, but tens of thousands of people still went there spontaneously to pay their respects, and then dispersed peacefully. The police later arrested and prosecuted 24 pro-democracy activists, including Huang Zhifeng, who was sentenced to 4 to 10 months in prison, and the rest of the defendants, who will be retried on June 11, are also expected to face imprisonment. The first “June 4” after the implementation of the “Hong Kong version of the National Security Law” is approaching, the police issued a notice on May 27, using the epidemic as an excuse to ban the rally in the Victoria Park again, whether the Victoria Park candlelight will be extinguished has aroused concern from all sides.
Tsang Kin-shing: I thought I was in Beijing
League of Social Democrats member Tsang Kin-shing said he grew up in Hong Kong and has participated in demonstrations since 1989 and has never been absent. “But in these two years, I feel that Hong Kong is quite unfamiliar”, both the government and the police have become completely unrecognizable to people, “I thought I was already in the Greater Bay Area, in Beijing.”
District Councilor Tsang Kin-shing arrives at the court to hear the trial.
Asked if Hong Kong’s environment would get worse, Tsang Kin-sing said it depends on the people of Hong Kong, “what kind of people there are, what kind of government there is.” He mentioned that after the “anti-China” campaign, the government banned all marches, rallies and demonstrations, but when the Hong Kong government raided the Abu Thai Lifestyle Department Store, a large number of people went to the store and lined up for several hours to support, Tsang Kin-shing said: “This is a kind of statement, Hong Kong people, the people’s hearts will not die. “
Hong Kong Monitor: Sanctions should be imposed on Hong Kong communist officials who violate human rights
The British organization “Hong Kong Watch” (Hong Kong Watch) said in a statement on the incident, 10 democrats were sentenced, which is a mockery of the Hong Kong government’s claim to continue to uphold “the Basic Law of Hong Kong and freedom of expression”.
“In the statement, Hong Kong Watch founder Benedict Rogers said, “We have seen Beijing and its handlers in the Hong Kong government use the much-criticized Public Order Ordinance to crack down on democrats and dissidents. and dissidents. From the previous fixed fines to the current imprisonment for over a year, Beijing has been working to increase the cost of peaceful protest in Hong Kong.”
He called on the international community to take concerted action in response to the CCP’s ongoing crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, including calling for the release of all political prisoners, pushing for the establishment of a UN special investigator for Hong Kong, and imposing targeted sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese Communist Party officials who violate human rights in Hong Kong.
On October 1, 2019, the 70th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s usurpation of power, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) applied to hold a “No National Day, Only National Mourning” rally and march, but the police issued a notice of objection, so Hong Kong people spontaneously held a march on the “National Mourning Day”. On the “National Day of Mourning”, the people of Hong Kong gathered and marched in many districts in Hong Kong to protest against the tyranny.
Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho, Leung Kwok Hung and Chan Ho Wan even declared civil disobedience and took over the original marching route of the Democratic Front on Hong Kong Island in their personal capacity. Hong Kong police in a number of districts on that day frantically fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators, a large number of riot police chased people, a police officer shot with live ammunition hit a protester in the chest.