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Pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong give final arguments in national security trial

A police officer holds a British flag brought by a pro-democracy activist to the courthouse where closing arguments are taking place. Associated Press/Photo by Louise Delmotte

Pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong give final arguments in national security trial

Pro-democracy activists on trial for subversion are getting their chance Wednesday to make closing arguments before a Hong Kong court. Their trial revolves around a national security law that the Chinese Communist Party imposed in 2020 to crush dissent after mass government protests the previous year. If convicted, the 47 activists and politicians could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

What are they charged with? All 47 were charged with conspiracy to commit subversion. They all played a role in a 2020 unofficial primary election, but an attorney for some of the defendants denied the claim of subversion, saying that they were only trying to hold those in power accountable. He said they did not try to remove any government institution but pushed for democratic elections so residents could choose their own leaders. The trial is largely considered a crackdown by Beijing on the city’s pro-democracy movement.

Dig deeper: Read Erica Kwong’s report in WORLD Tour on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy advocates.

Tobin Jacobson

Tobin Jacobson is a student at Patrick Henry College and the World Journalism Institute.

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