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Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai and 7 others sentenced to prison over banned Tiananmen vigil

Chinese media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been sentenced to up to 14 months behind bars for his participation in an unauthorized assembly last year to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Mr. Lai was sentenced in a Hong Kong court along with seven other pro-democracy figures. Mr. Lai is the founder of the now-defunct Apple Daily newspaper and was charged with inciting and participating in the peaceful candlelight vigil that occurred on June 4 last year. The event was declared illegal by authorities. Mr. Lai had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges. In addition to the charges affiliated with the Tiananmen Square event, Mr. Lai faces multiple charges under Hong Kong’s national security law.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China has organized the vigil in Victoria party every year since 1990. Although authorities banned the event for the first time last year due to coronavirus risks, the alliance went forth with the outdoor ceremony. The alliance was forced to disband in September of this year after several of its leaders were arrested due to the relatively new national security law imposed on Hong Kong.

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