OREANDA-NEWS. A court in Hong Kong on Thursday, April 1, handed down the guilty verdicts of nine leading democratic activists. Among other things, they were found guilty of organizing one of the largest protest demonstrations in Hong Kong in August 2019, which was attended by 1.7 million people.

Media entrepreneur Jimmy Lai, former deputy Margaret Ng, prominent lawyer Martin Lee, opposition politician Len Kwok Hoon, and «Civil Human Rights Front» activists were found guilty. Each of them faces up to five years in prison. The penalties will be announced on April 16.

Most of the convicts have been peacefully fighting for direct elections in Hong Kong for decades. The authorities of this special administrative region of the People's Republic of China are trying to suppress the democratic movement. In 2019, Hong Kong passed a new security law, that sharply restricted civil rights. This week, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed a law to reform the electoral system in Hong Kong, so that this city will henceforth be governed only by «patriots».