On the Political Persecution of Hong Kong Democracy Advocates

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The United States is appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s courageous pro-democracy advocates. The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people.

Hong Kong historically benefitted from a free and open system that celebrated the peaceful advocacy of citizens like Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, and Jimmy Lai. Hong Kong’s people should be free to exercise the rights guaranteed to them under the Basic Law; the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their struggle to resist the CCP’s denial of their fundamental rights will stand throughout history as a testament to the human spirit.

The United States will continue to work with our allies and partners around the world to champion the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and all those who suffer under the CCP’s repressive rule. We stand with Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam, Jimmy Lai, the people of Hong Kong, and all the people of China.

Source: US Department of State

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Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed for 13 and a half months over protest

The high-profile Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong will spend more than a year in jail over an unauthorised protest outside police headquarters in June last year, a court in the city has ruled.

Fellow activists Agnes Chow, 23, and Ivan Lam, 26, were sentenced to 10 months and seven months respectively.

Wong said last week he expected to be jailed after admitting organising the event early on in Hong Kong’s recent protest movement, which began with millions marching against an extradition bill before growing into a broader pro-democracy push.

At the West Kowloon magistrates court on Wednesday, the 24-year-old was sentenced to a total of 13 and a half months in jail for organising and inciting others to attend an unlawful assembly outside the police headquarters in June 2019.

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai charged with fraud

Outspoken Hong Kong pro-democracy advocate and media tycoon Jimmy Lai was refused bail on Thursday on a fraud charge amid a growing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city.

Jimmy Lai of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily newspaper, was among 10 people arrested on August 10 on what police said was suspicion of violating a national security law and collusion with a foreign country.

Lai, 73, was later released on bail but police raided his company’s offices in October and took away documents.

On Wednesday, Lai and two Next Digital executives were charged with fraud over accusations that they violated lease terms for Next Digital office space. On Thursday he was denied bail and his case adjourned till April 16.

Source: News Corp./The Guardian

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