Hong Kong’s Biggest National Security Case Results in 14 Convictions

In Hong Kong’s largest national security case to date, 14 individuals have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit subversion, while two others have been acquitted.

The charges stem from their involvement in an unofficial primary election held in July 2020. Those convicted include former district councilors, former lawmakers, and a former journalist, as reported by the Hong Kong Free Press.

The 14 convicts were among 47 individuals arrested under the Beijing-imposed national security law in January 2021. The allegations included plotting to use legislative powers to veto bills indiscriminately, with the aim of forcing the chief executive’s resignation and causing a government shutdown.

Lawrence Lau and Lee Yue-shun, the first two individuals tried under this controversial law, were acquitted of their charges.

The convicted individuals have been taken into custody and face severe penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment.

Australia has voiced concerns over the verdicts, particularly highlighting the guilty conviction of Australian citizen Gordon Ng. “We are deeply concerned by the verdicts handed down,” said Foreign Minister Penny Wong in a statement. “The systemic erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, freedoms, autonomy, and democratic processes has been consistently raised with China and Hong Kong. We have called on Hong Kong authorities to uphold those elements.”

The backdrop of these trials includes massive anti-government protests in Hong Kong in 2019, which led to the imposition of the controversial national security law by China in 2020. This year, Hong Kong has implemented its own version of the law.–News Desk