Jimmy Lai of Hong Kong faces new sentence for democratic protests China News

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The media mogul is already serving a 14-month sentence for participating in unauthorized assemblies.

Jimmy Lai, a jailed Hong Kong media mogul and prominent democracy advocate, is expected to receive a new prison sentence for his role in a demonstration on October 1, 2019, when protests erupted. democracy ravaged the city.

This month, Lai and nine other activists pleaded guilty to organizing an unauthorized assembly. Among the nine are activists Lee Cheuk-yan, Figo Chan and Leung Kwok-hung, known in Hong Kong as Long Hair.

They are expected to be convicted on Friday.

Lai is already serving a 14-month deadline to participate in similar demonstrations on August 18 and 31, 2019.

He has been in prison since December after being denied bail in a separate trial under national security law.

He faces three charges under the new legislation, imposed by China in 2020 in response to the protests, including alleged collusion with a foreign country.

Lai’s repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments and international rights groups, who have raised concerns about diminished freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory, including freedom of expression and assembly.

“Honor, for more than 40 years I have been fighting for democratic reform in China,” Lee said this week in court during one of the hearings. “This is my unrequited love, the love for my country with such a heavy heart.”

Beijing sees him as a traitor and an instigator against China.

China claims that the widespread security law, which punishes everything Beijing considers subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with life imprisonment, is vital to restoring stability and prosperity.

Earlier this month, authorities froze the assets belonging to Lai, including bank accounts and its 71.26% stake in media publisher Next Digital.

The Hong Kong head of security sent letters to Lai and branches of HSBC and Citibank this month threatening bankers with up to seven years in prison for any deal with the billionaire’s accounts in the city, according to documents seen by the Reuters news agency.

The moves could jeopardize any attempt by the tycoon to reclaim offshore assets home and prop up Apple Digital’s tabloid Apple Daily, a staunch critic of the government, said one of Lai’s financial advisers.





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