Hong Kong activists jailed over assembly in 2019 protests.

Seven Hong Kong democracy activists were sentenced on Wednesday to up to 16 months in jail for their role in an unauthorised assembly during anti-government protests in 2019.

They had pleaded guilty to charges, including organising and inciting others to take part in the illegal assembly on October 20th, 2019, when tens of thousands took to the streets and police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse them.

The activists included Figo Chan, a former convenor of the now-disbanded Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF); Raphael Wong and Avery Ng of the League of Social Democrats political party; and former legislators Cyd Ho, Yeung Sum, Albert Ho and Leung Kwok-hung, who is known in Hong Kong as “Long Hair”.

The sentences ranged from 11 months to 16 months.

Apart from Raphael Wong, the other defendants were all serving jail time in relation to other illegal assembly cases.

Judge Amanda Woodcock told the district court that while the city’s mini-constitution “guarantees freedom of assembly, procession and demonstration,” those rights are “not absolute”.

“Restrictions were applied in the interests of public safety, public order and the protection of others’ rights and freedoms,” she said, referring to the October 20th rally.

The sentences are the latest to be handed down in connection with the demonstrations that roiled the global financial hub in 2019.

The demonstrations were triggered by Beijing’s tightening control over the former British colony, which was promised broad freedoms when it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing imposed a national security law last year that critics say is aimed at stamping out dissent, an assertion authorities in mainland China and Hong Kong reject.

Some democracy campaigners said the space for opposition voices was “shrinking”.

“We hope everyone understands that this is political prosecution,” Chan Po-ying, the chairwoman of the League of Social Democrats, said outside court.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

MP killing: 'Shocked something so horrific has happened again' - Jo Cox's sister.

MP killing: 'Shocked something so horrific has happened again' - Jo Cox's sister.

Labour MP Kim Leadbeater, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, has told Sky News she is "shocked something so horrific has happened again." SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Follow us on Inst...

Thiessen slams Biden: He has ‘declared war on fossil fuels’.

Thiessen slams Biden: He has ‘declared war on fossil fuels’.

Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen discusses the supply chain crisis, the larger economic turmoil, and the tight race for Virginia governor #FoxNews #FaulknerFocus Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX ...

Live: President Biden delivers remarks at the Capitol Child Development Center.

Live: President Biden delivers remarks at the Capitol Child Development Center.

President Biden delivers remarks at the Capitol Child Development Center. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service delivering breaking...

BREAKING: MP killing to be led by counter-terrorism officers.

BREAKING: MP killing to be led by counter-terrorism officers.

Essex's Police Chief Constable has told reporters that the investigation into the killing of Conservative MP Sir David Amess will be led by counter-terrorism officers. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us...

US National Blood Inventory Hits Six-Year Low

US National Blood Inventory Hits Six-Year Low

Officials Say They Have Less Than a Day’s Supply of Certain Blood Types.  Originally published at -

‘Good To Know' Headlines: Butterball Recall, Facebook Political Testing, New United Airlines Routes.

‘Good To Know' Headlines: Butterball Recall, Facebook Political Testing, New United Airlines Routes.

Butterball is recalling ground turkey sound at Kroger and BJ's, Facebook is running tests to show less political content to users and United Airlines will begin five new international flight routes. NBC News' Vicky Nguyen reports. » Subscribe to N...