US News Hong Kong: the pro-democracy camp manifests for the liberation of 47 opponents
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Judicial repression is not weakening in Hong Kong. This Monday, 47 figures of the pro-democracy movement, accused of "subversion", are presented before the court of Kowloon. Their number necessitated the opening of three courtrooms. The local government, subservient to Beijing, showsopposition using its repressive legislative arsenal.
Following the millionaire mobilisations of 2019 in defense of Hong Kong's independence from mainland China, the Communist Party set out to regain control of the former British colony. It relies on the National Security Law, enacted in June 2020,on grounds of secession, terrorism, collusion with foreign forces or subversion. The 47 defendants pay the price. Local elected officials, academics, lawyers, students or social workers: they illustrate the diversity of the opposition to the government of Carrie Lam, the head of the Hong Kong executive.
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In support, hundreds of people lined up outside the gates of Kowloon courthouse on Monday to try to attend the court appearance. According to a journalist on site, the first arrived at 9 p.m. the day before. This is the first large-scale mobilization in months. The local government has used the pandemic to ban most gatherings, with success so far. Despite the large police force, the demonstrators gave voice,prohibited by the law on national security. The most famous of them, "liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our time," was resumed with vigor as law enforcement officials held up signs warning of the illegality of the reunification.
For months this was not seen in HK. Butit's happening at West Kowloon Magistrates Court - hundreds are gathering outside the court chanting slogans including “Liberate HK Revolution of Our Times”
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In the queue, seven men and a woman stand out. Suit and tie or tailor, leather bag in hand, the consular representatives of the European Union, the United States,Evacuation of protesters and three other European countries insisted on being in court, even if they know they had little chance of getting a seat to attend the hearing. They came to support the concerns of Western chancelleries over national security law.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the immediate release of the 47 opponents, condemning "their detention and the charges against them" against them. Under the charge of subversion, the authorities seek to punish the defendants for having participated in the opposition primaries in July 2020, which had attracted 600,000 voters. This attempt to demonstrate through the ballot box the broad support for pro-democracy mobilizations had provoked Beijing's wrath.
At the end of the afternoon, the police evacuated the area surrounding the court and cordoned off the adjacent streets. Few protesters and many journalists did not move. Among the most determined protesters, Alexandra Wong, nicknamed "Grandma Wong", sat a few feet from the entrance to the court, draped in her British flag and accompanied by her usual protest posters. The 64-year-old activist, a true embodiment of determination, participated in all protests until her arrest in mainland China, where she was imprisoned for a year. She made a point of being present to point out that the Hong Kong people are not giving up the fight for freedom and justice.
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