Jimmy Lai among five Hong Kong democracy activists jailed

The Nation  |  Apr 17, 2021

Hong Kong - Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was jailed for 12 months on Friday along with four other veteran democracy activists for helping to lead one of the city’s biggest-ever protests.

Organisers say 1.7 million people -- almost one quarter of Hong Kong’s population -- turned out for a huge rally that formed the backbone of demonstrations that wracked the city throughout 2019.

Lai was among nine of Hong Kong’s most prominent democracy campaigners found guilty of organising and participating in the rally.

Many of them have spent decades advocating non-violence in their ultimately fruitless campaign for universal suffrage.

Lai, 73, was on Friday sentenced to 12 months in prison while four of the other campaigners were jailed for between eight and 18 months. 

Among the other defendants was Martin Lee, 82, a respected barrister known as the “father of democracy” in Hong Kong, who was once chosen by Beijing to help write the city’s mini-constitution.

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They also included Margaret Ng, a 73-year-old barrister and former opposition lawmaker.

Lee and Ng were given prison terms, but their sentences were suspended.

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