Taiwan media reported on May 26 that a study by the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC), a human rights organization, showed that since the 2019 Hong Kong Protests, 1,014 Hong Kong people had been illegally sentenced as political criminals by the Hong Kong Communist government, with a total sentence of 772 years and an average sentence of 1.6 years. More than half of them are under 25, and 15% are even minors. More than 10,000 people have been arrested, of which 2,947 have been prosecuted, a conviction rate of 67 percent.
The most common charge is the so-called “Unlawful Assembly.” Some people have been jailed for possessing an “offensive weapon” simply for holding a laser pointer. The arrests included leaders of political parties, NGOs, trade unions, journalists, teachers, students, lawyers, and general practitioners. There are still more than 1,000 cases awaiting trial, and the number of political prisoners continues to grow.
The report emphasizes that Hong Kong has one of the fastest-growing numbers of political prisoners in the world, indicating the decline of both judicial independence and political freedom in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is rapidly degenerating into a fallen zone under the Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorship, where persecution on baseless charges is widely committed.
Accordingly, the HKDC recommends that the U.S. government impose sanctions on designated judges under Hong Kong’s national security law and on members of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong government and accelerate the establishment of humanitarian channels for the persecuted.