Hong Kong court finds 14 pro-democracy activists guilty of subversion

A Hong Kong court has found 14 out of 16 pro-democracy activists guilty of conspiracy to commit subversion in a landmark case.

It is city’s biggest national security case under a law imposed by China that has all but wiped out public dissent, following widespread anti-government protests in 2019.

Those found guilty include former lawmakers Leung Kwok-hung, Lam Cheuk-ting, Helena Wong and Raymond Chan.

They could now face life in prison.

But the three judges approved by the government to oversee the case cleared two former district councillors, Lee Yue-shun and Lawrence Lau.

They were all among 47 democracy advocates prosecuted in 2021 for their involvement in an unofficial primary election.

A pro-democracy supporter shouts outside the court. Pic: Reuters
A pro-democracy supporter shouts outside the court. Pic: Reuters

Prosecutors accused them of attempting to paralyze Hong Kong‘s government and topple the city’s leader by securing the legislative majority necessary to indiscriminately veto budgets.

Ahead of the hearing, observers said their subversion case will illustrate how the security law is being used to crush political opposition.

But the Beijing and Hong Kong governments insist the law has helped bring back stability to the city and that judicial independence is being protected.

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