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Hong Kong Convicts Martin Lee and Other Democracy Leaders Over Protest

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The protests that summer were focused at first on a proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China but expanded to include demands for direct elections and an investigation into police use of force.

The prosecution of the city’s pro-democracy leaders over a peaceful protest has drawn an international outcry. David Perry, a prominent British barrister who was hired to lead the prosecution, dropped the case after coming under sharp criticism at home. Dominic Raab, the British foreign secretary, had said Mr. Perry was “pretty mercenary” and was giving the Chinese government a public relations win.

The State Department, in an annual report on Hong Kong issued Wednesday, said that the Hong Kong government “did not respect” the right to free assembly provided under local law, and that by imposing a national security law last year, China had “dramatically undermined rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.”

The trial took 20 days, twice as long as had been scheduled initially.

The defendants, who also include the labor organizer Lee Cheuk-yan and the former lawmakers Cyd Ho and Leung Kwok-hung, face up to five years in prison. Sentences will be handed down at a later date.

Another former lawmaker, Au Nok-hin, 33, had previously pleaded guilty to both charges, while Leung Yiu-chung, 67, had pleaded guilty to a single charge of participating in the protest.

The verdict could set expectations for several trials on similar charges of illegal protests set to take place this year.

In addition, 47 pro-democracy politicians and activists have been charged with subversion under the new security law for participating in an election primary that prosecutors say was part of plan to subvert the government.

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Janice Hill

Janice is a Co-Founder of NetDebaito Official & a family member of Brit Media 360. Our News HUB aiming to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific viewpoint for each story catered. Every project is a proficient journalisms' who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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