Seven activists convicted in Hong Kong over pro-democracy protests

Pro-democracy lawmaker Martin Lee, right, arrives at a court in Hong Kong Thursday, April 1, 2021.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Martin Lee, right, arrives at a court in Hong Kong Thursday, April 1, 2021. Copyright AP Photo/Vincent Yu
By Euronews with AP
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Seven people, including former lawmaker Martin Lee and media tycoon Jimmy Lai, were convicted in Hong Kong for their role in pro-democracy protests.

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Seven people were convicted in Hong Kong for their role in pro-democracy protests in 2019 amid a crackdown on the semi-autonomous region's pro-democracy movement.

Those convicted include Jimmy Lai, the media tycoon and founder of the Apple Daily tabloid, as well as 82-year-old former lawmaker Martin Lee, a veteran of the pro-democracy movement.

Lai was already being held without bail on other charges.

Protests in Hong Kong took place in 2019 over a proposed anti-extradition law that would have allowed Hong Kong citizens to be extradited to mainland China on a case-by-case basis.

Thousands took to the streets when it was first introduced and the protest movement only gained momentum from there.

The seven pro-democracy advocates were convicted for involvement in an August 2019 protest that organisers said gathered 1.7 million people.

The 2019 protests eventually involved to include democratic reforms in their demands.

In the aftermath, Beijing has taken a tougher stance on dissent with many pro-democracy activists being detained under a new security law.

Beijing also reduced the number of seats in Hong Kong's Legislative Council that are directly elected by the public.

Taking part in an unlawful assembly in Hong Kong can result in a maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment for serious offences.

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