On January 6, 2021, 54 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were arrested by the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force under National Security Law. These 54 members are former legislators, social workers, and academics. On February 28, 2021, 47 of those defendants were arrested in January, later popular with the name Hong Kong 47.
On Monday (6/02/23)
The Hong Kong National Security trial opened this Monday with dozens of pro-democracy activists accused of trying to topple the government in a case. The critics say it reflects the criminalization of friction in Chinese Territory.
These 47 defendants could spend their time living in prison if convicted by a court of law. Sixteen of them have pleaded not guilty to charges of “Conspiracy to commit subversion” related to an unofficial primary election organized ahead of legislature polls. The remaining 31 are found guilty and moved to prison.
Despite the larger number of police, a rare small protest took place before the court convened. One of the men has been seen raising a fist in solidarity. The defendant creates the image of being prosecuted for routine politics. On the contrary, the right groups and observers say the trial illustrates how the legal system is being used to crush what remains in the opposition.
The irony is most of the groups have already spent nearly two years behind bars. Currently, they are facing proceedings for more than the last four months, overseen by judges handpicked by the government.
This case is the longest in the National Security Department which China has imposed on Hong Kong in 2019, after the massive democratic protests that tore gas and police brawls on the streets of the Asian financial hub.
People are pretty excited to listen to the hearing. More than 100 people queued outside the court and stayed overnight to see the trial.
A veteran campaigner and wife of defendant “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Chan Po-Ying, joined supporters carrying banners that read “Crackdown is shameless” and “Immediately release all political prisoners”.
“This is political persecution,” she said to the journalists waiting outside the court.
While inside, Leung repeated his not-guilty plea, further adding that: “Resisting tyranny is not a crime.”
- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist