Another conviction for Joshua Wong; Benny Tai loses appeal
Wong pleaded guilty to attending the vigil in remembrance of the Tiananmen massacre. Tai found guilty of "incitement to incite" Occupy Central protests. The democratic movement is increasingly in the crosshairs of the pro-Beijing executive.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong pleaded guilty this morning to having participated last June 4 in the vigil in memory of the Tiananmen massacre. The annual event was banned for the first time by the authorities with the justification of the pandemic.
In another reverse for the Democracy movement, lawyer Benny Tai today lost his appeal in the trial that sees him accused for his role in the 2014 Occupy Central movement.
In addition to Wong, district councillors Lester Shum, Tiffany Yuen and Jannelle Leung also admitted their guilt in the same case. They are among the 29 democracy figures including the publishing magnate Jimmy Lai - accused of organizing and taking part in the annual demonstration commemorating the killings in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The Tiananmen Square massacre saw thousands of Chinese students killed in cold blood for asking for freedom and democracy.
Wong is already serving a 14-month sentence for taking part in the siege of a police station in 2019 and another four months for taking part in an unauthorized demonstration on 5 October 2019. He protested against the bill on extradition (later withdrawn by the executive) and the ban on wearing masks during a public demonstration.
Together with Tai and 45 other members of the Democrat movement, Wong is waiting to appear before the judges for organizing or taking part in primary elections in July: they were organised to choose the Democratic candidates for the parliamentary vote in September (which was later postponed).
However, authorities branded running in the elections to obtain a majority in the Legco (the local parliament) a violation of the law on national security, if it is the democratic side who tries to do so.
The organiser of the Democrat primary, Tai is among the nine pro-democracy exponents who were jailed in 2019 for participating in the Occupy Central protests, which broke out in the summer of 2014 after yet another refusal by Beijing to guarantee direct elections for the head of the citizen executive. The judges of the Court of Appeal rejected the reasons of Tai and the other convicts, according to which the charge of "inciting to incite" is unconstitutional.
The democrat movement is being targeted by the pro-Beijing executive. After the approval of the national security law in June and more recently of the "patriotic" electoral reform, yesterday the Parliament of the former British colony gave the green light to a law that allows an official - and not a judge - to determine who can enter or leave the city.