The family of the only woman among 10 young Hongkongers jailed on the mainland over an apparent bid to flee to Taiwan has complained that government-assigned lawyers were no help at all.
Quinn Moon was jailed for two years this week for "organising the illegal border crossing" for 12 activists, with the others getting sentences of between seven months to three years.
Lawyers appointed by the families have been unable to represent the activists, who instead had lawyers assigned to them by the mainland authorities.
Moon's family said on Saturday they contacted the lawyer through WeChat after the sentence was handed down, asking to discuss an appeal.
"The lawyer failed to live up to his responsibilities. He only asked our family to write to Quinn directly to discuss, and he refused to meet her in person," the family said.
In a statement released by a concern group helping the families, Moon's family said the lawyer never spoke to them about anything regarding her case, and didn't even tell them when she was due in court until they asked.
State media had earlier quoted Moon as saying that she now understands how the mainland's justice system is “fair, just and serious”, adding that all her rights had been adequately protected.
The 12 Hongkongers, who either face protest-related charges in Hong Kong or had been arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law, were captured at sea by the Guangdong coast guard in late August.
Two minors were not charged and were taken back to Hong Kong, where they are now in quarantine. Police said they'll face extra charges for allegedly absconding.