A Hong Kong court has sentenced three activists to four and a half months in prison under the national security law for holding a vigil to commemorate China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Chow Hang-tung, a human rights lawyer, along with Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong, were leaders of a now disbanded group that organized the annual vigil on June 4.
The 1989 incident, where Chinese government troops opened fire and killed thousands of student-led pro-democracy demonstrators, is strictly censored in the mainland.
The vigil in Hong Kong had been attended by tens of thousands of people every year.
It was banned by officials over COVID restrictions in 2020 and eventually outlawed in 2021.
The activists’ group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, had been accused of being a “foreign agent” for allegedly receiving HK$20,000 (US$2,500) from an unidentified organization.
They were jailed on Saturday March 11 for not complying with a national security police request for information, according to the Guardian.
“We will continue doing what we have always done, that is to fight falsehood with truth, indignity with dignity, secrecy with openness, madness with reason, division with solidarity,” Chow said at the sentencing. “We will fight these injustices wherever we must, be it on the streets, in the courtroom, or from a prison cell.”