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Hong Kong court convicts media tycoon Jimmy Lai and other activists over peaceful protest

On Thursday, a Hong Kong court convicted pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai and eight other prominent activists. The convictions were due to the individuals’ roles in an unauthorized assembly at the peak of the 2019 protests that followed the imposition of new, strict laws on Hong Kong, threatening its autonomy. The other defendants included Hong Kong’s “father of democracy” Martin Lee and veteran pro-democracy figures Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan.

Among the nine defendants, all except for ex-lawmakers Au Nok-hin and Leung Yiu-chung pleaded not guilty to the charges. The peaceful protest was held in August of 2019 despite the fact that law enforcement had banned any gatherings. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The decision made by judge Amanda Woodcock followed a 20-day trial that took place over February and March.

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