HK court sentences activists, oppn figures to jail


A Hong Kong court on Friday sentenced several activists and opposition figures, including media mogul Jimmy Lai, to up to 18 months in prison.

The court sentenced the 73-year-old Lai, who is already in jail for other alleged offences, to an additional 14 months’ imprisonment, reports dpa news agency.

Nine other defendants were sentenced to prison terms of up to 18 months, including two who were handed suspended sentences.

The defendants were charged with incitement to take part in an unauthorised assembly in a protest in October 2019.

Lai, founder of the independent newspaper Apple Daily, is currently serving a separate sentence for other convictions related to unauthorised rallies in 2019.

The sentences combine for a total of 20 months behind bars.

He is also being investigated under the national security law imposed on Hong Kong by China, which introduced tough prison terms for acts of subversion, succession and colluding with foreigners.

Violations of the security law could lead to sentences of between three to 10 years in jail and up to life imprisonment.

In the last few months, especially since the introduction of the new law in June 2020, numerous well-known activists have been handed lengthy prison sentences for relatively minor offences.

A number of Hong Kong activists have fled to other countries in fear of prosecution.