Hong Kong democracy activist Huang gets another 10 months in prison for participating in Tiananmen Square rally
article from BBC News Japan on May 6th, 2021
A Hong Kong court on April 6 sentenced internationally renowned democracy activist Joshua Wong to 10 months imprisonment for participating in an unauthorized rally to mourn the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Mr. Wong, 24, is already serving two prison terms of 13 and a half months and four months for participating in another unauthorized rally.
Today’s ruling will add another 10 months to his sentence.
Memorial rallies for the Tiananmen Square protests have been held every year since 1990 in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park.
Police banned the rally for the first time last year, citing measures against the new coronavirus, but tens of thousands of people gathered. Huang and other democracy activists who participated in the rally were later prosecuted.
At his trial on April 30, Huang pleaded guilty to participating in a memorial rally for the Tiananmen Square protests last year, along with prominent activists Lester Shum, Tiffany Yun, and Janelle Liung.
At the sentencing, Cen was sentenced to six months imprisonment and the other two were sentenced to four months imprisonment.
This year’s memorial rally was
In China, only Hong Kong and Macau are allowed to hold events related to the Tiananmen Square protests, in which hundreds to thousands of people who protested against the government for democracy were reportedly killed.
However, memorial rallies were banned again this year, citing public health concerns.
In June last year, the Chinese government enacted the Hong Kong Law on the Maintenance of National Security (the National Security Law), which has tightened the noose around dissidents. Under these circumstances, attention is being paid to whether or not another memorial service will be held this year.
Nearly 100 people have been arrested for violating the law so far.
What is the National Security Law?
The National Security Law prohibits secession from China, overthrow of the central government, acts of terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers, and the maximum penalty for violating it is life imprisonment.
The law has been criticized by human rights groups and Western countries for suppressing dissenting opinions.
Hong Kong, once a British colony, was returned to China in 1997 and has enjoyed rights such as freedom of speech and expression that are not found in mainland China.
For the past several years, activists have argued that these freedoms in Hong Kong have been violated by China. Protests for democracy have often resulted in violent clashes between protesters and police.