Ten pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong have been sentenced to between seven months and three years in prison for illegally crossing the border. They tried to flee Hong Kong by speedboat to apply for asylum in Taiwan, but were stopped.
Activists were afraid that they would be prosecuted for their involvement in the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. And local media reported that there is an arrest warrant for at least one of them. He is said to be accused of violating a controversial security law passed in June.
The harshest sentences were passed against the activists accused of organizing the escape attempt. Another co-organizer was sentenced to two years in prison. The others are serving seven months in prison. The maximum penalty for illegal border crossing is seven years. Everyone was also fined.
‘You do not have a private lawyer’
A total of 12 suspects have been brought to trial. Two of them were minors and had not been heard but had not been tried, although they admitted they were involved in the escape attempt.
Relatives of the suspects say the trial was not fair. They should not have appointed their attorney. Family members also say the accusations are political in nature.
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