torsdag 17. desember 2020

Hong Kong protests: 10 who fled by boat to Taiwan charged with illegal crossing

Chinese authorities have formally indicted 10 of the 12 activists arrested in August while attempting to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan by boat. Late on Wednesday the Yantian District People’s Procuratorate said two of the 12 were accused of organising an illegal border crossing, while eight were charged with illegally crossing the border. The remaining two members of the group are minors and authorities said there would be a closed-door hearing at a later date before any charges were laid.

No court dates were given. Those charged with organising the crossing face up to seven years in jail if convicted, while the other 10 could be sentenced to a year. Former lawmaker Chu Hoi-dick, who has been helping the families, said earlier this week that mainland lawyers had indicated that most of the group should receive jail sentences of around six months, meaning they would be released by February.

While the group has not been put on trial yet, China’s notoriously opaque justice system has a conviction rate of around 99%.