Chinese authorities have officially prosecuted ten of the 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists who have been detained in the mainland for over three months.

The Shenzhen Yantian District People’s Procuratorate announced on Wednesday that Tang Kai-yin and Quinn Moon will face trial for allegedly organising others to cross the border illegally.

Family members and activists hold a press conference on December 12, 2020. Photo: Save 12 Hong Kong Youths, via Telegram.

The eight others – Cheng Tsz-ho, Yim Man-him, Cheung Ming-yu, Cheung Chun-fu, Wong Wai-yin, Li Tsz-yin, Andy Li Yu-hin and Kwok Tsz-lun were prosecuted for crossing the border illegally.

The authorities said a non-open trial hearing will be held in due course for two suspects in the case who are under the age of 18.

The group was captured by Chinese coastguards on August 23 while trying to flee to Taiwan on a speedboat. Most of them were facing criminal charges in Hong Kong for offences linked to last year’s anti-extradition bill protests.

Andy Li was was arrested on August 10 on suspicion of breaching the Beijing-imposed national security law by colluding with foreign forces. The sweeping legislation also outlaws secession, subversion and terrorist acts.

A photo of frontline protesters taken at a protest on August 24, 2019. Photo: Studio Incendo.

Family members have urged the Chinese authorities to grant them access to the 12 detainees. They also called on the Hong Kong government to bring back the group, but local officials said they would not interfere with law enforcement operations in another jurisdiction.

Last Saturday, some family members claimed they received a letter from one detainee asking them to go to a Hong Kong court and admit to their alleged crimes on their behalf.

Some also claimed the Hongkongers in custody did not receive any letters from their families, while another family said they were informed by the Bank of China that their detained family member’s account would be cancelled owing to “commercial executive reasons.”

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Kelly Ho

Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.