Hong Kong activist faints in court, three others sent to hospital as national security law trial wraps up past 2am

Activist Clarisse Yeung passed out 13 hours into the hearing, which began Monday noon. Photo via Apple Daily
Activist Clarisse Yeung passed out 13 hours into the hearing, which began Monday noon. Photo via Apple Daily

As Hong Kong’s largest national security law trial continued past midnight, one defendant—a Wan Chai district councilor—fainted in the courtroom, prompting the magistrate to adjourn the hearing.

Clarisse Yeung blacked out in the chambers of the West Kowloon Law Courts Building at around 1:45am, Citizen News reported, 13 hours into a trial that began before noon on Monday.

According to a lawyer present, Yeung was conscious but unable to open her eyes. About 15 minutes later, paramedics entered the courtroom, wrapped Yeung in a blanket and lifted her onto a stretcher. She was brought to Caritas Medical Center.

An update posted on Yeung’s Facebook page Tuesday morning stated that the activist is currently on saline drip in hospital. She was sweating and felt dizzy in court, only able to eat a rushed dinner at midnight as the hearing was ongoing.

Court Magistrate Victor So wrapped up the trial just before 2:30am, explaining that the trial would conclude for the day because a defendant is ill and another, Benny Tai, has to be at High Court in the morning to attend an appeal hearing for a separate case related to the 2014 Occupy Central protests.

The marathon trial of the 47 activists charged with subversion for organizing and participating in a primary vote, which authorities say is part of a plan to achieve a majority in the Legislative Council elections and overthrow the government, will continue Tuesday.

Read more: Police subdue, arrest man at street booths held by pro-democracy groups

Three other defendants, including owner of pro-protest store AbouThai Mike Lam, Tsuen Wan district councilor Roy Tam and ex-lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (known as “Long Hair”) were also sent to a hospital later in the night, HK01 reported.

The charges, for which the activists could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if found guilty, mark Beijing’s harshest use of the national security law since it was passed last summer.

In court Monday, a number of defendants vowed not to run in future elections, write social media posts about current affairs and give interviews to foreign media, statements which suggest that they will cease all forms of political participation moving forward.

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