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A "Save the Twelve" parade in Hong Kong in support of the Hong Kongers who were caught at sea on their way to Taiwan. Photo: Alberto Buzzola/LightRocket via Getty Images

A court in Shenzhen, China, on Wednesday imprisoned 10 pro-democracy activists who tried to flee Hong Kong by speedboat and deported back home two minors who were with them.

The big picture: Coast guards caught the group in August 45 miles southeast of Hong Kong Island on their way to Taiwan, which has become a refuge for the city's pro-democracy exiles, per the New York Times.

  • Tang Kai Yin, 31, and Quinn Moon 33, were sentenced to three and two years in prison, respectively, for organizing the escape attempt. Eight others charged with illegally crossing a boundary were jailed for seven months.
  • Their trial lasted only one day and took place with few public witnesses, the Guardian notes.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China cracking down on those associated with Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement since imposing a national security law on the former British territory last summer.

  • Prominent Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were handed prison sentences earlier after pleading guilty to charges of organizing and inciting an unauthorised assembly during last year's massive protests.
  • Meanwhile, Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has been charged on suspicion of "colluding with foreign forces" under the security law.

Go deeper: Hong Kong's worst case scenario is happening

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the trial and further context.

Go deeper

China sanctions top Trump alumni one day after Uyghur genocide determination

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 "anti-China" U.S. politicians, including a slew of top officials from the outgoing Trump administration such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Between the lines, via Axios China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Chinese government officials have traditionally decried the use of unilateral sanctions by Western countries, even though China regularly blocks foreign companies and individuals from its markets for perceived political slights.

Prosecutor: Fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was "justified"

Khalil Ferebee (C), the son of Andrew Brown Jr., and attorneys Bakari Sellers (L) and Harry Daniel (R) at a May 11 news conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday that the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies last month, was "tragic" but "justified," due to the immediate threat officers believed Brown posed.

Why it matters: The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown's death. Police in Elizabeth City shot him five times, including in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy report released by family attorneys last month.

McCarthy comes out against bipartisan deal on Jan. 6 commission

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will oppose a bipartisan deal announced last week that would form a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his office announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: McCarthy's opposition to the deal, which was negotiated by the top Republican and Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, underscores the internal divisions that continue to plague the GOP in the wake of Jan. 6.