The rulings came a week before the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Authorities have banned a vigil for the second year in a row, citing pandemic concerns about crowding, despite allowing other crowded events in recent days. Friday’s sentencing was one of several cases against Lai and other pro-democracy activists including Lee Cheuk-yan, Figo Chan, Albert Ho and Leung Kwok-hung, who is known in Hong Kong as Long Hair.
Lee, Chan, Ho and Leung were each sentenced to 18 months in prison, while two others received suspended sentences. All the individuals jailed on Friday were among 10 sentenced earlier this month for other unauthorised protests held in August that same year. In that case, Lai, Lee, and Leung were given jail terms, while Ho was given a suspended sentence.