March 28, 2023

Courtroom convicted Hong Kong democracy activist and barrister Chow Dangle-tung, in addition to Tang Ngok Kwan and Tsui Hon Kwong.

Three former members of a Hong Kong group that organized annual vigils to mark China’s bloody 1989 Tiananmen Sq. crackdown have been discovered responsible of not complying with a nationwide safety police request for info.

Outstanding Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and barrister Chow Dangle-tung, 38, was amongst these convicted by the Justice of the Peace’s court docket on Saturday.

Chow is a former vice chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Help of Patriotic Democratic Actions in China. Two different former standing committee members of the Alliance, Tang Ngok Kwan and Tsui Hon Kwong, have been additionally discovered responsible.

The now-disbanded Alliance was the primary organizer of Hong Kong’s June 4 candlelight vigil for victims of China’s crackdown on peaceable pro-democracy supporters in Tiananmen Sq..

Yearly, the vigil drew tens of hundreds of individuals within the largest public commemoration of its type on Chinese language soil.

The sentencing of the three is predicted on March 11, with a most jail time period of six months for this specific offence.

Chow is already serving two different jail phrases for illegal meeting linked to her involvement in organizing Tiananmen commemoration occasions and faces a separate, graver cost of subverting state energy via the Alliance.

Since Hong Kong’s large pro-democracy protests in 2019, authorities haven’t allowed the vigil to happen on COVID-related grounds. The Alliance disbanded in September 2021 after authorities arrested a number of senior members of the group, together with Chow.

Through the trial that solely began late final 12 months – greater than a 12 months after the defendants have been arrested – Authorities prosecutor Ivan Cheung accused the Alliance of being a “overseas agent” for an unnamed group after it had allegedly obtained HK$20,000 ($2,547) in funds.

Chow denied this in court docket, saying the Alliance was an impartial civil society group run by Hong Kongers and that the case towards her and the others amounted to “political persecution”. Chow, a educated lawyer, defended herself and denied the group was a menace to nationwide safety.

“If the Alliance was a menace to something, it was a menace to the monopolization of energy and manipulation of reality,” Chow mentioned in her closing submission.

Through the trial, a lot of the prosecution’s proof was closely redacted or withheld – even from the choose – underneath a “public curiosity immunity”.

The court docket additionally dominated that the prosecution didn’t have to show the Alliance was a overseas agent.

Through the trial, protection legal professional Albert Wong mentioned the redaction of proof and waiver of the burden of proof would “[allow] the Commissioner of Police to place a clean label of overseas agent to anyone”.

Justice of the Peace Peter Regulation, who was hand-picked to listen to nationwide safety circumstances by Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed chief, mentioned in a written judgment on Saturday that it was mandatory for the police to “verify the background” of the group given its political actions and “nexus of interactions with native and non-local organizations and other people.”

Hong Kong’s nationwide safety regulation, which punishes acts together with subversion and collusion with overseas forces, has been criticized by some Western governments as a device to crush dissent.

Chinese language and Hong Kong officers say the regulation is important to revive stability to town after town’s protracted anti-China protests in 2019.

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