HK activists plead guilty over 'illegal assembly'

Four Hong Kong democracy activists - including Joshua Wong - pleaded guilty on Friday for participating in an illegal assembly on June 4th last year.

That assembly was meant to commemorate the deadly 1989 crackdown on protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

While commemorations for that incident are banned in mainland China, Hong Kong traditionally holds an annual vigil - the biggest globally.

Last year, however, marked the first time the vigil was banned on what police said were coronavirus restrictions on group gatherings.

It's expected to face a similar ban this year.

Joshua Wong is one of the pro-democracy movement's most prominent activists.

He is already in prison after being found guilty of participating and organizing an unauthorized assembly during the mass protests of 2019.

But while in prison, he was arrested in January on suspicion of breaking the National Security Law, which was implemented in July last year.

This year, the June 4 event is particularly awkward for Beijing, as it gets ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, asked whether commemorating the victims of Tiananmen would violate the new security law, said this week it was important to show respect to the Party.