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China, Hong Kong. They protested in Hong Kong, tried to escape to Taiwan by motorboat. They received prison terms

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Seven participants in the 2019 Hong Kong anti-government protests who were caught in a failed motorboat escape attempt to Taiwan have been sentenced to prison terms. They heard sentences ranging from seven to 10 months in prison.

Pro-democracy activists fleeing on a motorboat were caught by China’s coastguard in August 2020 and then jailed in China continental. After serving their sentences there, 10 of them returned to Hong Kong, where they had previously been charged with participating in protests.

Six of those who returned to Hong Kong were sentenced there to 10 months in prison on Friday, and the seventh, who is already serving a 3.5-year sentence for participating in the riots and attacking a police officer, received an additional seven months in prison. Most of the inmates also have other criminal cases, as a result of which they may be imprisoned for longer, the Reuters agency said.

2019 year. Hong Kong protestsJEROME FAVRE / PAP / EPA

Anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong

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Massive anti-government demonstrations continued in Hong Kong almost continuously throughout the second half of 2019. As many as nearly two million people marched into the streets of the former British colony in peaceful marches against the tightening of power over Hong Kong by the Chinese communist government. There were also regular clashes between groups of radical demonstrators and the police.

Since then, Chinese authorities have cracked down on the democratic movement in Hong Kong, practically excluding the opposition from city policy. Many influential activists were imprisoned and many others left for fear of persecution. In connection with the protests of 2019, the police detained over 10,000 people, and criminal proceedings were initiated against 2,800.

Main photo source: JEROME FAVRE / PAP / EPA

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