Hong Kong court docket denies bail to 32 democracy activists

Hong Kong, March 4

A Hong Kong court on Thursday denied bail to 32 out of 47 pro-democracy activists charged under a Beijing-imposed national security law, ending a four-day marathon court hearing.

The group of activists was charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the law and detained on Sunday over their involvement in an unofficial primary election last year that authorities said was a plot to paralyze Hong Kong’s government.

The mass charges against the activists were the most sweeping action taken against the city’s pro-democracy camp since the national security law was implemented last June.

With the 32 activists remanded in custody until the next court hearing on May 31, it means that a majority of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy figures will now be in jail or in self-exile abroad amid an ongoing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Bail proceedings for the activists began on Monday, often taking a full day and at times continuing into the early hours of the morning. — AP

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