Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai to be sentenced

Hong Kong media mogul and pro-democracy leader Jimmy Lai is set to be sentenced today for his role in last

VERNON YUEN AFP Getty Images

Photo: Vernon Yuen/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong media mogul and pro-democracy leader Jimmy Lai is set to be sentenced today for his role in last year’s Tiananmen Square Massacre vigil.

Lai faces charges of incitement and unlawful assembly, which carries up to a 5-year sentence.

The annual Tiananmen vigil has been taking place on the island for 30 years but was banned by the government in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. However, protesters assert that ban is unrelated to the pandemic and is instead simply another move in Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong’s sovereignty following the passage of the National Security Law last year.

Lai and several other activists will likely receive a maximum sentence as Beijing continues to ramp up pressure on the Hong Kong government to abolish the island’s freedoms. Protests are unlikely as the government will likely quickly crackdown on any visible dissent. In the coming months, expect a judicial exodus from Hong Kong’s court of final appeal as the country’s independence continues to be eroded.

In the Legislative Council expect the continued election of pro-Chinese politicians to the bench as pro-democratic lawmakers are barred from elections. Ultimately, expect the island to become a Chinese province in all but name.

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