U.S. condemns sentencing of tycoon Jimmy Lai, other Hong Kong activists

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FILE PHOTO: Media mogul Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, leaves the Court of Final Appeal by prison van in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday condemned the sentencing of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai and other pro-democracy activists on what it called "politically motivated charges."

"Beijing and Hong Kong authorities are targeting Hong Kongers for doing nothing more than exercising protected rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of speech," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

"Today’s sentences are yet another example of how (China) and Hong Kong authorities undermine protected rights and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration in an effort to eliminate all forms of dissent," he added.

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Leslie Adler)