3 Activists jailed for 4.5 months for Pro democracy protest

Three former organizers of Hong Kong’s annual vigil in remembrance of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protests were jailed on Saturday for four-and-a-half months after they were convicted of not complying with a national security police data request, reported Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP).
Chow Hang-tung, Tang Ngok-kwan, and Tsui Hon-kwong were convicted for failing to comply with a notice from national security police demanding information. They were leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China and were found guilty last week. They appeared at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts in front of Principal Magistrate Peter Law, one of the city’s handpicked national security judges, reported HKFP.
The now-defunct alliance was best known for organizing candlelight vigils in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the 1989 China military’s crushing of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, but it voted to disband in 2021 under the shadow of the Beijing-imposed national security law.
Two other defendants, Simon Leung and Chan To-wai, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to three months in prison, reported HKFP.
According to the implementation rules of the Beijing-imposed national security law, after receiving approval from the secretary for security, the police chief can issue a notice to foreign political groups and their agents demanding information including financial records.
Law ruled last week that the police notice issued to the Alliance was legal and that it was necessary to demand information from the group.
In her mitigation submission, Chow said that the Alliance was not a foreign agent, and that “nothing has emerged in this year-long ordeal that proves otherwise.”
“To sentence us in such circumstances is about punishing people for defending the truth,” Chow said.
Handing down the sentences, principal magistrate Peter Law said the case is the first of its kind under the new law and the sentencing has to send a clear message to society that the law does not condone any violation.
Law, who was approved by the city’s leader to oversee the case, said he saw no justification for reducing the four-and-a-half-month sentence, reported Nikkei Asia.

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