Hundreds of pro-democracy activists gathered on Monday morning near a court where several dozen opponents were to appear on charges of “subversion”. On Monday, hundreds of people lined up to enter the court where opponents were to appear for their formal indictment.
Crowds in Hong Kong outside West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court, where 47 opposition figures are on trial for subversion under the National Security Act. pic.twitter.com/1e7nC4NleA
– FAN Wenxin (@xinwenfan) March 1, 2021
It was, in the context of the pandemic, the largest pro-democracy rally in several months in the former British colony. “Free the political prisoners,” chanted protesters. “Stand up for Hong Kong,” others said while some gave the three-fingered salute, a symbol of resistance in several Asian countries, such as Thailand and Burma.
Kwan Chun-sang, a local councilor, explained that he spent the night in the street, near the court, to be sure to be among the first in the queue to access the public benches in the courtroom. ‘hearing. “Shortly after the proceedings were launched yesterday, I decided to come and spend the night here,” he told Agence France Presse (AFP). “I want to show my support for pro-democracy activists.”
Decision condemned by Western capitals
Beijing embarked on a strong takeover of its semi-autonomous region in 2020, in the wake of the immense mobilization for democracy that shook the former British colony for months in 2019.
One of the main tools of this crackdown is a draconian national security law that was imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong. The almost permanent assembly bans ordered to fight against the coronavirus have also allowed the authorities to prevent almost all attempts to demonstrate.
On Sunday, the police brought charges for “subversion” against 47 figures of the pro-democracy camp for subversion, the largest group to have been indicted the same day in the name of the law on national security. This decision has been strongly condemned by Western capitals, starting with Washington and London, which accuse Beijing of reneging on the promise to preserve Hong Kong freedoms that China made at the time of the handover in 1997.