Hong Kong court to pursue case against 47 Democratic activists

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The trial of 47 Democratic activists detained in Hong Kong resumes today. In September, magistrate Peter Law of the Western

Photo: Tyrone Siu / Reuters

The trial of 47 Democratic activists detained in Hong Kong resumes today.

In September, West Kowloon Court Magistrate Peter Law delayed the case, saying more time was needed for pre-trial court proceedings. Many activists have been in detention for more than 6 months and only 14 of the 47 have been released on bail.

The activists, who include opposition politicians, are among more than 100 people currently being prosecuted under Hong Kong’s controversial national security law. Diplomats and human rights groups criticize that the case demonstrates the failing independence of Hong Kong’s justice system.

The rulings on the case will mark another turning point in Hong Kong’s independence, as Beijing is likely to exert a strong influence over the prosecution of these democracy activists. Judges have resigned from the High Court over fears that the judiciary will become less independent, and Justices Reed and Hodge have expressed their intention to do the same if this trend continues. After the case, expect a massive exodus of judges, causing lasting damage to Hong Kong’s overall autonomy and giving Beijing the opportunity to replace pro-independence judges with those closely linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

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