Jimmy Lai, Magnate of the Hong Kong Media, has been condemned again this Thursday for his participation last year in an unauthorized vigil to commemorate the massacre of the Plaza de Tiananmen (1989).
Together with LAI, a court of the former British colony has failed against two other activists, journalist Gwyneth Ho and Human Rights Attorney Chow Hang-Tung, who were also in a vigil that was held annually in Victoria Park from 1990, until the authorities forbade it for the first time in 2020.
In total, 24 activists and former politicians have been processed by charges related to their participation in the public meeting. The most media case was Joshua Wong, the most popular face among the thousands of Hongkones who starred on the protests in favor of democracy in 2019, which was condemned last May to 10 months in prison.
Before the verdict on Thursday, from which the sentence is not yet known, Lai's lawyer argued that the prosecution was a "disproportionate restriction to his freedom of assembly," and pointed out that his client had only gone to the Victoria park to support the Hong Kong Alliance in support of the democratic patriotic movements of China (the group organized by the vigil) instead of encouraging the public to disobey the prohibition of the meeting, as argued by the court.
LAI (73 years old), founder of Apple Daily, the older newspaper in favor of Hong Kong democracy that closed in summer, has been in prison since December last year by participating in unauthorized assemblies. The entrepreneur has an estimated fortune at $ 1 billion thanks to the investments of him in the textile industry and, afterwards, to the acquisition and foundation of several local media in Hong Kong.
Last May, LAI was already sentenced to 14 months in prison by organizing an unauthorized demonstration on October 1, 2019, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Foundation of the People's Republic of China. While in Beijing a celebration was celebrated, with military parades in the center of the city, in Hong Kong there were clashes between protesters and police.
That judgment against him came a day after the Hongkon Parliament, lacking opposition parties on his seats, approved a bill that modified local electoral laws, reducing the vote ability of the public, while increasing the Number of Pro Beijing legislators who make decisions for the city. On March 11, it was the National People's Assembly (ANP), China's most important annual political conclave, which approved the comprehensive reform of Hong Kong's electoral system.
Also in May, the authorities froze the assets belonged to Lai, including bank accounts and their share of 71.26% in the NEXT Digital Media Editor. According to Reuters, the Hong Kong security manager sent letters to Lai and the HSBC and Citibank branches threatening bankers with up to seven years in prison for any deal with billionaire accounts in the city.
The magnate is also being investigated under the new national security law, by a presumed collusion with foreign powers to intervene in the affairs of the city. The new legislation, which entered into force on July 1, 2020, punishes with a perpetual chain some crimes such as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, which the Chinese regime interprets in its own way.
Around a hundred people, including Jimmy Lai, have been charged under the Security Law. The first sentence arrived last July, when the Tong Ying-Kit waiter was sentenced to nine years accused of terrorism and secession for having run over several policemen during a protest and carry a banner with the slogan "Liberate Hong Kong, the Revolution of our time. "
A month ago, Ma Chun-Man, another activist who came to manifestations dressed as the 'Captain America', received a conviction of five years and nine in prison for "inciting subversion".Date Of Update: 09 December 2021, 03:40