Families of 12 Hongkongers call for open trial - RTHK
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Families of 12 Hongkongers call for open trial

2020-12-27 HKT 19:15
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  • The families demanded that the proceedings be broadcast online and urged foreign governments to send representatives to the hearing. File photo: Reuters
    The families demanded that the proceedings be broadcast online and urged foreign governments to send representatives to the hearing. File photo: Reuters
The families of the 12 Hong Kong people being detained in Shenzhen have issued an open letter, urging foreign governments to send embassy personnel to attend a hearing at the Yantian People’s Court on Monday.

The families said in the letter that they were only notified of the hearings on Friday, making it impossible for them to attend due to the need for a 14-day quarantine.

Ten of the Hongkongers will face trial at 2:30pm at the Yantian People’s Court on illegal border-crossing charges, while a separate closed-door hearing will be conducted on another day for the remaining two detainees who are minors.

Monday’s trial is not among a list of hearings publicised by the Yantian People’s Court that would be live-streamed, and a staff member at the court had previously told RTHK that the proceedings will be closed to the public because it is a "classified case."

“By holding the trial of the 12 in secret, barring the media and the families from attending, the Chinese authorities are disregarding basic human rights, acting against the ‘sunshine judiciary’ principle they have been promoting,” the families said.

They demanded that the proceedings be broadcast online and urged foreign governments to send representatives to the hearing to “guarantee a proper and fair trial”, saying there are British, Portuguese and Vietnamese nationals among the detainees.

The 12 have been held on the mainland for more than four months, after being picked up by the Guangdong coast guard while allegedly trying to flee from the SAR to Taiwan by speedboat.

Eleven are suspected of protest-related offences in the SAR, and one of them was arrested under the National Security Law.