HONG KONG—Martin Lee, the 82-calendar year-previous attorney credited with assisting identified Hong Kong’s democracy motion, and newspaper publisher Jimmy Lai were being amid seven veteran activists identified responsible by a judge on prices associated to a mass demonstration in 2019.
The Thursday responsible verdicts raise the prospect of jail time for a notable team of democracy campaigners who have been battling to maintain the rule of legislation in the previous British colony due to the fact before it was returned to China in the late 1990s. Sentencing on the prices, which can carry up to 5 years’ jail time, was set for later on this thirty day period.
“We think we were being just training our constitutional legal rights to protest arrive what may well,” claimed the labor chief Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the defendants, right after the verdict. “It will be a badge of honor for us to go to jail for battling for flexibility and legal rights for Hong Kong folks.”
The trial is element of a wave of prosecutions below way in Hong Kong as China crushes dissent in the previous British colony. Amid a continuing crackdown that worsened previous calendar year when China imposed a sweeping countrywide protection legislation, numerous of the city’s democracy campaigners are now both on trial, in jail or residing in exile.
Soon after the judge read out the verdict Thursday, a direct prosecutor named on the judge to revoke bail until finally sentencing, stating the offenses were being major and risked plunging Hong Kong into anarchy by undermining community purchase. Defendants, even so, were being granted bail but cannot leave Hong Kong.