A month after a wave of repression in which more than 50 people, including some of the most well-known figures of the pro-democracy movement, were arrested, the Hong Kong police announced on Sunday (February 28th) again that they were prosecuted for “Conspiracy to commit an act of subversion” against 47 members of the pro-democracy movement.
Those charged represent a very broad spectrum of local opposition, with veteran former MPs like James To and Claudia Mo, academics, lawyers, social workers and many younger activists.
Prosecutions punishable by life imprisonment
They are the largest group indicted on the same day in the name of the draconian national security law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year in response to months of protests that rocked the city in 2019. The ex -British colony had then gone through its worst political crisis since its handover in 1997 to China.
And Beijing undertook last year a muscular takeover of its theoretically semi-autonomous region. This was notably materialized by the new law which was imposed at the end of June 2020 without debate in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and which tackles four types of crimes: subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. These prosecutions are punishable by life imprisonment.