Prominent Hong Kong activists charged for Tiananmen vigil gathering Jul 14, 2020 0 308 12345 AFPHong KongThirteen prominent Hong Kong democracy activists appeared in court on Monday charged with holding an unauthorised gathering to mark the Tiananmen Square crackdown, the latest in a string of prosecutions against protest leaders in the restless financial hub.Last month tens of thousands of Hong Kongers defied a ban on rallies to mark the June 4 anniversary of Beijing’s deadly 1989 crackdown against students pushing for democracy.The annual vigil has been held in Hong Kong for the last three decades and usually attracts huge crowds. It has taken on particular significance in recent years as the semi-autonomous city chafes under Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian rule.But thousands turned out to hold candles in their neighbourhoods and in Victoria Park, the traditional site of the vigil.Police later arrested 13 leading activists who appeared at the Victoria Park vigil.All appeared in court on Monday to be formally charged with “inciting” an unlawful assembly, which carries up to five years in jail.Among them are Jimmy Lai, the millionaire owner of the openly pro-democracy Apple newspaper, veteran democracy activists such as Lee Cheuk-yan and Albert Ho as well as young campaigner Figo Chan.When asked if he understood the charge, Lee invoked the hundreds who were killed by Chinese tanks and soldiers at Tiananmen.Earlier this month Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law aimed at stamping out the demonstrations once and for all.Monday’s court appearance coincided with the third anniversary of the death of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in custody since Nazi Germany.Liu was arrested in 2009 and charged with “inciting subversion of state power”, later dying of cancer.Those charged in Hong Kong on Monday held up pictures of him before going into court. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Taliban kill 11 in attack on Afghan intelligence agency office Jul 14, 2020 0 433 Japan’s Abe visits flood-stricken Kyushu; death toll rises to 68 Jul 14, 2020 0 413 Philippines reports 227 additional deaths from COVID-19 Jul 14, 2020 0 37 Taiwan launches week of military drills amid China tensions DPA Taipei Taiwan launched a week-long set of military exercises on Monday, including live-fire drills, to defend itself against mock invasive attacks. The drills are taking place amid tensions over moves from China, .. Hong Kong reimposes social distancing as virus cases spike Hong Kong Hong Kong reimposed social distancing measures on Monday to combat a sudden spike in coronavirus infections, banning more than four people from gathering in public and requiring passengers to wear face masks .. Thai demonstrators demand higher monthly pension for retirees Bangkok Thai activists submitted a petition on Monday asking the government to increase pensions paid to people over 60. The petition, signed by over 13,000 people, demanded that the prime minister approve a new .. French alleged paedophile dies in Indonesia after suicide attempt Jakarta A French national detained since last month for allegedly molesting more than 300 children has died three days after attempting to commit suicide, police said Monday. Francois Camille Abello, 65, died late .. Malaysia PM wins parliamentary test of support AFP Kuala Lumpur Malaysia’s prime minister narrowly won a vote to remove the parliament speaker during a rowdy session of the legislature Monday, a key test of support for the embattled leader. The Southeast Asian nation .. Sri Lanka shuts schools again as virus cases surge Colombo Sri Lanka ordered government schools across the nation to shut Monday, just a week after they re-opened, following a surge in new coronavirus cases. The country has reported just 2,617 cases with 11 deaths, but ..