The Hong Kong District Court has sentenced 10 pro-democracy activists to jail on charges under the new national security law Friday. The activists were charged with several unauthorized assembly offenses for protesting in Hong Kong during China’s 70th anniversary. The protests violated several provisions of the Public Order Ordinance, and their punishments were set out in the Criminal Procedure Ordinance.
The trial was held April 1, and all defendants were found guilty by District Court Judge Amanda Woodcock. Several notable activists include media tycoon Jimmy Lai, leader of the Civil Human Rights Front Figo Chan and ex-Legislative Council members Leung Kwok-hung and Lee Cheuk-yan. Woodcock explained the reasoning behind the guilty verdict, stating that the organizers of the protests were “naïve and unrealistic” for expecting a non-violence protest.
Woodcock sentenced eight of the defendants to jail terms between 14 to 18 months. Two were given suspended sentences. Jimmy Lai and Leung Kwok-hung are also facing charges under the new national security law and will receive new sentences to be served concurrently.