As authorities crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, media tycoon and ardent pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai was sentenced to further jail time on Friday for his part in an anti-government protest in 2019.
For their actions in a demonstration on Oct. 1, 2019, when they went along a road with thousands of others, Lai and nine others were charged with inducement to participate in an unauthorized assembly.
Lai, 73, was given a 14-month prison sentence. He is presently serving a 14-month prison sentence for other convictions earlier this year, all of which were related to unauthorized gatherings in 2019 when Hong Kong citizens took to the streets in the city’s largest challenge to Beijing since it was handed over to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Lai will spend a total of 20 months in prison as a result of the two sentences. He is also being probed for conspiring with foreign powers to intervene in Hong Kong issues under the city’s comprehensive national security statute, which was enacted last year.
Most of the city’s pro-democracy activists have been jailed and charged, including Joshua Wong, a student leader during the 2014 protests. In a statement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hong Kong authorities to drop charges against those who were “merely standing for election or expressing dissident views.”