A carefully watched trial involving 13 individuals who stormed Hong Kong’s legislature throughout pro-democracy protests in 2019 has began with seven individuals pleading responsible to a rioting cost.
On July 1 that yr, a whole bunch of protesters stormed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council constructing after a protest march in opposition to a proposed extradition invoice that will have allowed authorities to ship people to mainland China for trial.
The protesters smashed glass and furnishings, destroyed photos and daubed partitions with graffiti. Whereas most of the protesters fled the scene with out being arrested, native police later recognized scores of them, together with a few of the 13 now on trial.
Rioting is punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.
The seven who pleaded responsible included the previous president of the College of Hong Kong’s scholar union, Althea Suen, and pro-democracy activist Ventus Lau.
“I’ve by no means regretted combating for freedom, justice, and democracy from the start to the tip,” Suen wrote in a Fb publish earlier than the trial started.
“In 2023, I’m in Hong Kong, in jail, however my thoughts stays free.”
Six individuals pleaded not responsible, together with actor Gregory Wong, and two reporters Wong Ka-ho and Ma Kai Chung. These six face further costs of illegal entry into the legislature and legal injury which carries a most life sentence.
The trial is predicted to final for 44 days.
“There’s an finish to all good and dangerous issues,” Wong instructed reporters outdoors the court docket. “It doesn’t matter what the end result, I believe it is doable to be courageous.”
Greater than 10,200 protesters have been arrested in connection to Hong Kong’s anti-government, pro-democracy protests in 2019 over the since-withdrawn extradition invoice, posing one of many largest challenges to China’s Communist Occasion leaders since Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq. protests in 1989.
Round 2900 have been prosecuted on costs linked to the protests thus far.
Following the protests, China imposed a nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong that was criticised by some Western governments as a device of repression with scores of democrats and activists arrested, whereas main civil society teams and liberal media retailers have been shut down.
Hong Kong and Chinese language authorities say the safety regulation has introduced stability to the worldwide monetary hub.
Australian Related Press