Urgent Action Update: 10 Hongkongers Sentenced in Unfair Trial (China: UA 141.20)

January 14, 2021

Ten of the 12 Hongkongers arrested in August 2020 by the Chinese coast guard were sentenced on 30 December 2020 without a fair trial. Having been detained for more than four months, the 10 individuals still have no access to their families or family-appointed lawyers.



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Director Fang Hongsheng
Yantian Branch of Shenzhen Municipal Public Security Bureau
2078 Shenyan Lu, Yantian Qu,
Shenzhen Shi, 518081, People’s Republic of China
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Cui Tiankai
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
3505 International Place NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202 495 2138
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @ChineseEmbinUS
Salutation: Dear Ambassador


Dear Director Fang,

I am writing to express my grave concern for 10 Hongkongers who have been detained in China without direct communication with their families or lawyers of their choice for more than four months. After an unfair trial, they were sentenced to prison terms on 30 December 2020. Two among the 10 were sentenced to three and two years’ imprisonment respectively for “organizing other persons to secretly cross the border” (组织他人偷越国(边)境), and the other eight to seven months’ imprisonment for “secretly crossing the border” (偷越国(边)境).

Since the 10 were detained on 23 August 2020, the authorities have violated their right to legal representation, rejecting all meeting requests from family-hired lawyers while claiming the 10 had “chosen their own lawyers”, without allowing any direct communication between the defendants and their family. Only government-appointed lawyers represented the 10 at the trial on 28 December 2020. Two of the family-hired lawyers have since been stripped of their licences to practice. The family-hired lawyers could not attend the hearing as the court claimed that the public gallery in the courtroom was full. I am aware that Chinese courts have often used this as an excuse to stop family members and others from attending trials that the authorities consider to be “sensitive”.

The government-appointed lawyers only informed families of the date, time, and location of the hearing three days before it took place. On the day of the hearing, defendants’ family members were unable to contact the lawyers and received no details or copies of the verdict handed down on 30 December 2020. The lawyers did not handle the families’ requests to meet the 10 after they were sentenced. It is extremely worrying that there is no way for family members or family-hired lawyers to confirm whether the 12 are in good health. I am particularly concerned about QUINN Moon and TANG Kai-yin, who have existing health conditions and require regular prescribed medication, as there is no way to know whether they are receiving adequate medical care while in detention. The family of Quinn, who has depression and needs regular medication, say they remain unable to reach the lawyer. Tang also requires regular asthma medication.

I call on you to ensure that the 10 individuals have regular and effective access to family and family-appointed lawyers without delay; and allow the 10 individuals prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care.

Yours sincerely,