Baldwin Award Winner and Human Rights Lawyer Albert Ho Facing Jail in Hong Kong
WASHINGTON — Albert Ho, recipient of Human Rights First’s 2020 Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, and six other advocates were convicted April 1 for involvement in a 2019 pro-democracy march in Hong Kong.
Human Rights First expressed deep concern at the conviction of these veteran pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong.
“There is no more direct attack on the rule of law than targeting human rights lawyers,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Albert Ho is known across the region for his peaceful human rights work. These are politically motivated charges against people working for democracy and human rights, and they should be dropped.”
Ho was found guilty of taking part in an unlawful assembly and of organizing an unlawful assembly during the large-scale pro-democracy protests in the city in 2019 and 2020. Martin Lee, Jimmy Lai, Margaret Ng, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung-Kwok-hung, and Cyd Ho were also convicted in this case.
There is a court hearing set for April 16 to consider mitigation before sentencing, but Albert Ho and the others will likely be sent to prison.
Human Rights First documented from Hong Kong the crackdown on protests in 2019 and 2020 and in June 2020 published a report detailing the imposition of direct rule from Beijing and online and physical attacks on Ho and other Hong Kong human rights lawyers.
Ho is the co-founder and senior partner of Ho, Tse, Wai and Partners (HTW), a Hong Kong law firm renowned for advocacy on landmark human rights cases. Ho and HTW have represented many arrested pro-democracy protestors and challenged many of the Hong Kong government’s dubious actions, such as banning face masks under a colonial-era law and the disqualification of numerous pro-democracy lawmakers.
Ho has also done extensive advocacy for human rights lawyers in mainland China. He founded the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group in 2007 to provide humanitarian assistance to detained human rights lawyers and their families, advocate on behalf of detained lawyers and share knowledge and experience with Chinese lawyers.