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The guilt of the Hong Kong Seven

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Were they 1.7 million in the streets of Hong Kong this Sunday, August 18, 2019, or one in four inhabitants? The organizers’ figure was undoubtedly exaggerated. But the former colony had never seen such a mobilization. Summoned for 3 p.m. in Victoria Park by the Civil Front for Human Rights, the demonstration drew a crowd from mid-day. The park where sits a statue of Queen Victoria being too small, the organizers had set in motion towards the financial center of the island. In the rain, the Hong Kong people marched in peace, chanting slogans against police violence, for the autonomy of their territory and universal suffrage. On Thursday, the Hong Kong justice found “guilty of inciting an unauthorized march” (only the park meeting was) and of “disrupting road traffic” seven of the organizers. They risk 5 years in prison.

These seven personalities are Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho Chun-yan, Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Leung Kwok-hung and Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee. They are popular rights icons. Martin Lee, an 82-year-old lawyer, is described as the “father of Hong Kong democracy”. Jimmy Lai, 72, is the boss of the opposition newspaper Apple Daily. Several of them are former members of Parliament. All fought, under the British Mandate and then under Chinese sovereignty, to make Hong Kong a democratic space. On April 16, the sentence will be pronounced.

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