The indictment has been brought one step closer to the court, although their trial is not scheduled to begin.
A court in southern Shenzhen, where the twelve were being held, said in a statement on Wednesday that two members of the group had been charged with organizing illegal border crossings and eight with illegal border crossings. The remaining two, both of whom are minors, will be held in camera and “decisions will be made in accordance with the law,” the statement said.
Under Chinese criminal law, convicts for organizing illegal border crossings can face two to seven years in prison – and in severe cases, life imprisonment. The crime of crossing the border illegally may result in up to one year of imprisonment. Legal observers say China’s judicial system has a sentencing rate of about 99%.
Shortly after crossing the sea border between Hong Kong and mainland China, their ship was stopped by a Coast Guard ship.
They have been detained in China ever since, while their families desperately lobbied for their return, saying the twelve were denied access to lawyers and abused while in Chinese custody.
The mainland authorities stated that they “protect the legal rights of suspects in accordance with the law” and provided them with government-appointed lawyers.
In the statement, family members were also raised with the settlement of government-appointed lawyers.
“Families cannot trust that” government-appointed lawyers “will defend the interests of the twelve during the trial and fear that” government-appointed lawyers “will follow the government’s instructions and act against the twelve’s interests.” Communication.
The Chinese courts, along with prosecutors and the police, are overseen by the Chinese Communist Party’s huge Central Political and Legal Commission and local branches.
This year, after protests revived after a ceasefire-forced break, the Chinese government introduced a national security law in Hong Kong that criminalized sediment, rupture and subversion.
The government said the law needed to restore order has flung several prominent activists overseas.
Eric Cheung contributed to the report.