Hong Kong Zhou Hengdong sentenced to jail in the second Tiananmen night vigil case | News

The famous activist was convicted for the second time for the banned vigil in Tiananmen Square and sentenced to 15 months in prison.

A well-known Hong Kong activist was sentenced to 15 months in prison for inciting a ban on night vigil to commemorate the dead in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.

Zhou Hengtong, the former vice chairman of the now-defunct Hong Kong Coalition for the Patriotic and Democratic Movement, was sentenced to a new sentence in the West Kowloon Magistracy on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old lawyer has Serve Because of her role in the 2020 vigil, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for participating in and inciting unauthorized gatherings.

In the past two years, the police banned the June 4th night vigil on the grounds of a pandemic, which is usually an annual event.

But after the massive pro-democracy protests in 2019, many activists viewed the ban as an attempt to prevent contempt for Beijing. The authorities denied that this was the cause.

Despite the ban, thousands of people in the city will still light candles in 2020, and fewer in 2021.

During Zhou’s trial, the prosecutor stated that the activist incited others to participate in the vigil through articles published on her Facebook account and Ming Pao.

Zhou, who represents herself, pleaded not guilty to these allegations, saying that she wanted to “inspire others not to forget June 4” instead of encouraging gatherings.

Magistrate Chen Aimi stated in the verdict that the assembly poses a “public health risk” and Zhou’s article is equivalent to inciting others to violate the police ban.

Chen said the activist was “determined to attract and release attention to appeal to the public to gather”.

Chen said that the five-month sentence announced on Tuesday will be executed simultaneously, which means Zhou will serve 10 months in addition to the current sentence.

Throughout the trial, the activist proved that he was a grumpy defendant.

On Tuesday, she used mitigation measures to read the memoirs of the families of the victims of the Tiananmen Square incident. This caused Chen to dress up, and then some people in the gallery applauded. The magistrate then ordered the police to identify those who applauded.

On Tuesday, Zhou also condemned the court’s decision and said that the authorities had criminalized speech.

“It is foreseeable that the public space for discussion on June 4 will completely disappear,” a tearful Zhou told the court after the judgment. “Tyranny is greedy, and the red line keeps expanding.”

According to Beijing’s comprehensive national security law in Hong Kong in 2020, Zhou also faces separate charges of inciting subversion.

Her group supports the China Patriotic Democratic Movement League, Dissolve in investigation, The police accused him of being a “foreign agent”, the organization denied it.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997, promising to provide extensive freedoms, and traditionally held the world’s largest vigil on June 4th.

But the commemoration became more and more difficult.Last month, universities in the territory demolished the Tiananmen Monument, including “Pillar of Shame” At the University of Hong Kong and “Goddess of Democracy” In a Chinese university.

One June 4th Museum During the investigation of the alliance, it was raided and shut down by the police, and its online version was inaccessible in Hong Kong.

China has never provided a complete record of the 1989 crackdown. A few days later, the official death toll was about 300 people, most of them soldiers, but rights groups and witnesses said that thousands of people may have been killed.

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