Trial of Hong Kong Activists to Begin

    Photo: aljazeera

    The Facts

    • The highly-anticipated trial of 16 Hong Kong democracy activists began Monday. The 16 defendants are among 47 who pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to commit subversion under Chinese national security law.

    • The trial comes three years after the defendants were accused of "subversion" for organizing an unofficial primary to elect candidates for the 2020 Legislative Council election, which was later postponed due to the COVID pandemic.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    This trial shows that Hong Kong is no different from other authoritarian regimes that imprison dissidents and undermine democracy. Beijing’s National Security Law was implemented to suppress any protests against China’s government, and Hong Kong adopted its own law that is closer to China’s than to its self-proclaimed common law system.

    Pro-China narrative

    The Hong Kong activists plotted a deliberate act of subversion against the city’s government. They sought to unlawfully win a majority in the Legislative Council in order to veto laws and paralyze the current government. This is a clear violation of the law and threat to national security, and a majority of participants have already pleaded guilty.

    Establishment split



    More neutral establishment stance articles

    Sign up to our daily newsletter