HK billionaire sentenced to 14 months for pro-democracy protests

The billionaire was one of several activists in court on Friday
Jimmy Lai being arrested at his Hong Kong home in August 2020. Source: VERNON YUEN/AFP via Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Jimmy Lai, Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon, has been sentenced to 14 months in prison after being found guilty of unauthorized assembly.

The billionaire was one of several activists in court on Friday who were found guilty of charges earlier relating to large pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.

The 73-year-old founder of Apple Daily is a fierce critic of China.

The verdict comes as China is increasingly cracking down on Hong Kong’s freedoms and rights.

Several other activists were sentenced by the court on Friday for participating in two demonstrations, on 18 August and 31 August 2019.

They include lawyer Margaret Ng, 73, whose sentences were suspended and veteran campaigner Martin Lee, 82.

Mr Lai’s Apple Daily newspaper published a handwritten letter by him earlier this week, which was sent from prison, which read: “It is our responsibility as journalists to seek justice. As long as we are not blinded by unjust temptations, as long as we do not let evil get its way through us, we are fulfilling our responsibility.”

The Hong Kong media tycoon faced eight charges in total, two of which were imposed under the new National Security Law imposed by Beijing, which can carry a maximum term of life in prison.

Jimmy Lai was sentenced to 12 months for the 18 August demonstration and another eight months for 31 August. The judge, however, ordered for the sentences to be served concurrently except for two months.

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