Hong Kong vs China Photograph:( Reuters )
Accused are 11 men and one woman who were captured by a Chinese coastguard on August 23. The youngest of the convicted men is 16
China will be charging 12 people from Hong Kong who were caught trying to flee the city in a speedboat. The 12 people were detained more than three months ago.
The officials announced on Friday that the "investigation of 12 Hong Kong people who were found unlawfully crossing the border has ended."
Accused are 11 men and one woman who were captured by a Chinese coastguard on August 23. The youngest of the convicted men is 16.
They are being charged with illegally crossing and organising an illicit border crossing. If proven guilty, the 12 accused could face a jail time for seven years, the mainland authorities said.
The arrest of the 12 locals had led to various anti-government protests in Hong Kong, which has resulted in various clashes between the locals and the police. The 12 have also faced charges for anti-government protests, which also included violation of a contentious national security law that China imposed in June.
This case has also attracted international worries as it is being looked at as an extreme step to curb democracy in Hong Kong through China's new security law which was imposed recently. The UK has also expressed concern over the arrest of the 12 protestors.
The concern rose when the detainees were kept away from any virtual attendance too and were not allowed to connect to family, friends and lawyers for a very long time.
Authorities have denied family and lawyers access to the 12, insisting they be represented by officially appointed lawyers.