HONG KONG - Three veteran Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, including well-known publisher Jimmy Lai, pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in an unauthorized rally in 2019 that led to violence between police and participants. The charges carry prison terms of up to five years.
Lee Cheuk-yan, an ex-legislator, and Yeng Sum, former chairman of the Democratic Party, were released on bail. Lai was returned to jail as he is already being held on other charges related to his outspoken opposition to China's crackdown on civil liberties in the former British colony. Walking out of the courthouse in Wanchai district, Lee said that despite pleading guilty, he and the others saw no fault in their actions. "Today we plead guilty to the charges, but we have done no wrong. This is an act of civil disobedience. We want to reclaim our right to demonstration, and we affirm the right of people, that we have the right to come out to march," Lee said.