Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai and seven other activists handed new prison sentences

WION Web Team
Hong Kong Updated: May 28, 2021, 01:45 PM(IST)

Jimmy Lai Photograph:( Reuters )

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Lai has been in jail for the past few weeks for attending pro-democracy protests in which anti-China messages were chanted

Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was on Friday handed a new prison sentence, along with seven other activists.

Lai has been in jail for the past few weeks for attending pro-democracy protests in which anti-China messages were chanted. He has been given a revised jail sentence of 14 months after he plead guilty to organising and attending protests, which have been classified as'‘unlawful assembly'.

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Combining the two sentences, Lai will now serve 20 months behind bars. This has attracted criticism from international organisations who believe this is a way to silence free speech and democratic voices.

Along with Jimmy Lai, seven other activists were handed new jail sentences. They included 25-year-old youth campaigner Figo Chan and former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Leung Kwok-hung.

While the rallies and demonstrations had largely remained non-violent, authorities believe the mere notion of planning an unlawful gathering was enough to put the attendees behind bars.

“It was naive to believe a rallying call for peaceful and rational behaviour would be enough to ensure no violence,” district judge Amanda Woodcock said.

All the activists have been charged for ‘unlawful gathering’ at a time when Xi Jinping was celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of communist China.

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