Helen Davidson: High profile pro-democracy figures go on trial over Hong Kong protests

Nine high-profile activists and pro-democracy figures have gone on trial in Hong Kong in one of the biggest court cases linked to the protest movement that paralysed the city for more than a year. Among the defendants are Martin Lee, considered the father of the democracy movement in Hong Kong, media tycoon Jimmy Lai, veteran activist Lee Cheuk-yan, and Margaret Ng, a highly respected former legislator.

The group are charged with organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly in the early months of Hong Kong’s mass protests, which ended only when the outbreak of Covid-19 and a brutal crackdown by Beijing combined to push demonstrators off the streets. Both charges carry penalties of up to five years in jail. It is the first time on trial for Lee, 83, and Ng, 73. Seven of the defendants have pleaded not guilty to all charges....


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