Six Hong Kong opposition figures have been remanded in custody ahead of their sentencing next week for organising an unauthorised protest on National Day amid the anti-government movement in 2019.
District Judge Amanda Woodcock’s ruling on Tuesday came a day after the group pleaded guilty to one count of organising an unauthorised assembly, alongside four co-defendants – media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying among them – already remanded over separate convictions or alleged offences.
Woodcock will hear mitigation next Monday and sentence all 10 defendants on May 28.
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Prosecutor Priscilia Lam Tsz-ying had asked the District Court to revoke the six defendants’ bail following their convictions, while their defence lawyers resisted the application.
The six are: Democrats Albert Ho Chun-yan, Sin Chung-kai and Yeung Sum; Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China; and League of Social Democrats members Avery Ng Man-yuen and Figo Chan Ho-wun.
Chan, 25, is the youngest defendant in this case and convenor of the Civil Human Rights Front, the group behind the annual July 1 protest, which coincides with the anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China in 1997.
Together with Ho, alliance chairman Lee Cheuk-yan and ousted lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, Chan also pleaded guilty to one count of inciting others to take part in an unauthorised assembly. Tsoi and Ng admitted to knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.
Chan and Sin have no prior convictions, while the others have ones related to protests, most of them linked to the 2019 anti-government demonstrations.
The six filed into the dock after waving goodbye and passing their personal belongings to family members who were there to support them.
Chan also pulled down his mask and shouted: “Stay united, Hongkongers fight on.”
Many of those in the public gallery replied: “Hang in there.”
They went on to chant the protest slogan: “There are no rioters, only tyranny.”
But some supporters also swore and shouted: “Shame on the Department of Justice, shame on political prosecution.”
Lai, the 73-year-old founder of Next Digital, which publishes the Apple Daily, is already serving a 14-month sentence for his role in two unauthorised assemblies in August 2019, and faces a raft of other charges including ones related to the national security law.
Leung, Lee and his Labour Party colleague Cyd Ho Sau-lan are also serving jail terms over similar charges stemming from the August 2019 protests.