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    HomeWorld NewsHong Kong Democracy Trial Ends in Guilty Verdicts for Fourteen Activists

    Hong Kong Democracy Trial Ends in Guilty Verdicts for Fourteen Activists

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    Hong Kong Democracy Trial Ends in Guilty Verdicts for Fourteen Activists

    Fourteen pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have been found guilty in a landmark subversion trial, marking a significant moment in the city’s political landscape and drawing international attention to concerns about the rule of law. The verdicts, delivered on Thursday, come after more than three years since the arrest of 47 democrats in police raids across the city.

    The trial, the largest against Hong Kong’s democratic opposition, centered on charges of conspiracy to commit subversion under China’s national security law. This law, imposed by Beijing, has been heavily criticized for its impact on political freedoms and the city’s reputation as a global financial center.

    Sentencing for the guilty defendants will occur at a later date, with potential prison terms ranging from three years to life. Notably, thirty-one defendants pleaded guilty, with four becoming prosecution witnesses.

    The trial has drawn condemnation from various countries, including the United States, with calls for the immediate release of the accused. Diplomats from several nations, including the US and the European Union, attended the trial, reflecting the international scrutiny surrounding the case.

    Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong expressed strong objections to the broad application of national security laws in Hong Kong, particularly in targeting pro-democracy figures. She highlighted concerns about the verdicts and emphasized ongoing efforts to seek consular access for an Australian citizen among the convicted.

    The defendants were accused of plotting to destabilize the Hong Kong government and force the city’s leader to resign through a pre-selection ballot in a 2020 election. The trial’s judges emphasized the severity of the alleged plot, describing it as a potential constitutional crisis.

    Among those convicted are former lawmakers and prominent activists, with uncertainties remaining about potential appeals and further legal proceedings. The trial’s outcome has further intensified debates about political freedoms and the impact of national security laws on dissent in Hong Kong.

    Amnesty International’s China director condemned the mass conviction as a ruthless suppression of dissent, highlighting concerns about the use of national security laws to silence opposition voices.

    Sources By Agencies

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