Jailed Hong Kong media tycoon and Beijing critic Jimmy Lai was given a new prison sentence of 14 months on Friday (May 28) over his role in an unauthorised assembly on Oct 1, 2019, during one of the city’s pro-democracy rallies that year.
This month, Lai, who is serving a 14-month sentence for participating in similar demonstrations on Aug 18 and Aug 31, 2019, and nine other activists, pleaded guilty in District Court to organising an unauthorised assembly.
He has been in jail since December after being denied bail in a separate national security trial. He faces three charges under the new law, introduced by China in 2020 in response to the protests, including collusion with a foreign country.
Lai’s repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments and international rights groups, who raised concerns over waning freedoms in the global financial hub, including freedom of speech and assembly.
Beijing sees him as a traitor and an anti-China instigator.
China says the sweeping security law, which punishes anything Beijing considers as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, was vital to restore stability and prosperity.