Hong Kong: Activists plead guilty to 'national security' charge over sanction calls

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Aug 19, 2021, 08:40 PM(IST)

Flags of China and Hong Kong (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Prosecutors said they were part of a group that organised the publishing of adverts and articles in overseas newspapers calling for sanctions against China

Two Hong Kong residents who were accused of working with a group that campaigned for international sanctions on China on Thursday pleaded guilty under the city's national security law. The case is linked to jailed pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai.

The sweeping security law has been imposed by China on Hong Kong to quell dissent after huge pro-democracy protests.

More than 130 people, including many of the city's best-known democracy advocates, have since been arrested under the law.

Democracy activist Andy Li, 31, and paralegal Chan Tsz-wah, 30, admitted to a charge of "colluding with foreign forces to endanger China's national security" on Thursday.

Prosecutors said they were part of a group that organised the publishing of adverts and articles in overseas newspapers calling for sanctions against China.

Both were in custody ahead of their plea.

Little has been heard in open court about the case against the duo but they are part of a group of people linked to jailed pro-democracy media tycoon Lai who faces the same national security charge.

Authorities have accused Lai, 73, of running a "criminal syndicate" that lobbied for international sanctions against China over its crackdown in Hong Kong.

At Thursday's hearing, prosecutors read out a summary of the allegations against the two defendants. 

In it, they accused Lai and his American aide Mark Simon of being "masterminds and financial support behind the scene and at the highest level of the syndicate".

Chan allegedly delivered Lai and Simon's instructions to Li.

Simon left Hong Kong last year and has previously described the prosecution against Lai and others as a political witch hunt against Beijing's critics. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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