As the trial against 47 pro-democracy activists begins in Hong Kong, it is announced that 29 will plead guilty and 18 not-guilty. Among the most prominent, Joshua Wong and Benny Tai will accept the charges, whereas Leung Kwok-hung won’t.
On 6 January 2021, 53 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, former legislators, social workers and academics were arrested by the National Security Department of the Hong Kong Police Force under the national security law over their organization and participation in the primaries for the subsequently postponed Legislative Council election, including six organizers and 47 participants, making it the largest crackdown under the national security law since its passage on 30 June 2020. As of 8 March 2022, only 13 of 47 defendants had been granted bail, a reflection of the stringent requirements for bail under the national security law. By early July 202, many of the defendants had announced their retirement from politics. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong will plead guilty in the city’s largest national security case, local media reported, after being detained for more than a year without a trial date under the China-drafted law.
The already jailed former student leader is among 29 democracy advocates expected to enter guilty verdicts over subversion charges linked to a primary held in July 2020, according to local media outlets including HK01. Former law professor Benny Tai, protest organizer Jimmy Sham, and ex-lawmaker Claudia Mo were among those expected to accept the charge. The 18 other defendants, including former lawmaker “Long hair” Leung Kwok-hung, will plead not guilty, local media reported.