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Senin, 22 Maret 2021

Eight Hong Kong activists jailed in Shenzhen returned home as Carrie Lam gets second COVID-19 jab - ABC News

Eight activists detained at sea as they tried to flee Hong Kong by speedboat have finished serving jail sentences in China and have been returned home.

However they were then immediately handed over to authorities in Hong Kong, where they could face further prosecution under tough new security laws.

The group of eight activists, aged 19 to 31, had been jailed in the southern city of Shenzhen, and returned to Hong Kong in batches, according to a police statement.

Pro-democracy activist Andy Li was the first of the group to be returned to the city after serving a seven-month prison sentence, according to an anonymous police source.

The eight men are part of a larger group of 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists and protesters who were detained at sea in August last year during an ill-fated attempt to reach self-ruled Taiwan.

Many of them were facing prosecution in Hong Kong due to their involvement in anti-government protests that began in mid-2019.

A white-haired man hold a colourful sign in front of a line of police officers in front of a building.
Pro-democracy supporters are calling for the release of all Hong Kong activists.(

Reuters: Lam Yik

)

One had been arrested on suspicion of collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security.

They were convicted by a Shenzhen court of illegally crossing the maritime border and sentenced to seven-month jail terms.

While Hong Kong is part of China, travellers must still pass through immigration when going to and from the mainland, which surrounds Hong Kong by land and sea.

A middle-aged Asian woman in face mask gives a peace sign and holds up a white certificate in a medical clinic.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam received her second COVID vaccine as the activists returned from Shenzhen.(

Reuters

)

Hong Kong police said in a statement that the suspects were returned to the city after the completion of legal proceedings by mainland authorities.
 
Two of the defendants, Quinn Moon and Tang Kai-yin, remain in prison on sentences of two years or more,  for organising an illegal border crossing. 
 
Two detainees who were not charged on the mainland because they were younger than 18 at the time of the arrest were handed over to Hong Kong authorities last December.

The activists returned on a day that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam — criticised for being too pro-Beijing —  received a second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and urged residents to get the jab so they could return to normal lives.

So far, more than 350,000 people have been given the first shot in Hong Kong and the second doses will begin to be administered this week.

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Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have taken a tougher stance on the city's pro-democracy movement over the past year, implementing a new national security law aimed at cracking down on dissent. 

In February, 47 pro-democracy activists and lawmakers were charged for subversion under the security law over their involvement in an unofficial primary election.

Authorities said it was part of a plan to paralyse the government.  
 
Hong Kong was promised it would be allowed to maintain its separate political, economic and social systems for 50 years following the handover from Britain to China, including considerably greater freedoms of speech and protest than permitted in mainland China. 
 
Critics say Chinese moves, including the imposition of the national security law, widespread arrests of critics and the impending changes to Hong Kong's electoral system, have all but nullified that pledge.

AP

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2021-03-22 13:22:12Z
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