Human Rights First Decries Jail Sentence for Baldwin Winner Albert Ho
NEW YORK -- In Hong Kong today, human rights lawyer Albert Ho, recipient of Human Rights First’s 2020 Roger Baldwin Medal of Liberty, received two concurrent jail sentences of 18 months for his involvement in a 2019 pro-democracy march.
He was one of four veteran activists to be sentenced for “inciting people to participate in an unlawful assembly” and for “organizing an unlawful assembly” on China National Day, October 1, 2019. He faces further charges in connection with the protests of 2019. Others charged with Ho were given jail sentences of up to 14 months.
"Sending Albert and the others to prison won’t silence dissent in Hong Kong. The international media attention these trials and convictions generate only bolster the image of the Hong Kong government as a repressive, authoritarian arm of the Beijing government,” said Human Rights First Senior Advisor Brian Dooley. “We urge the Hong Kong authorities to release Albert and all human rights defenders immediately and unconditionally. While in custody, they should not be forced into solitary confinement or otherwise mistreated.”
Albert Ho’s career in human rights and political activism stretches almost four decades. A leading figure in the pro-democracy movement for many years, he remains prominent in the protest movement that energized Hong Kong in 2019 and 2020.
Ho is the co-founder and senior partner of Ho, Tse, Wai and Partners (HTW), a Hong Kong law firm renowned for advocating landmark human rights cases. Ho and HTW have represented many arrested pro-democracy protestors and challenged many of the Hong Kong government’s questionable actions, such as their ban on 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 lawyers in detention, and share knowledge and experience with Chinese lawyers.
Human Rights First documented attacks on Albert and other human rights lawyers in Hong Kong in a 2020 report.