A trial is beginning in Hong Kong for 16 pro-democracy figures, arrested more than two years ago for alleged subversion.
Hong Kong security trial starts two years after arrests
Sixteen Hong Kong pro-democracy figures are to face trial, more than two years after their arrest, in what some observers say is a landmark case for the city’s judicial independence under a national security law imposed by Beijing.
The defendants are those who pleaded not guilty out of 47 arrested in a dawn raid in January 2021 and charged with conspiracy to commit subversion for participating in an unofficial primary election in 2020.
Thirteen of those arrested were granted bail in 2021, while the other 34 – including 10 who pleaded not guilty – have been in pre-trial custody on national security grounds.
Western governments have criticised the 2020 national security law as a tool to crush dissent in the former British colony.