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Reporter's notebook: The court case that marked Hong Kong's fall

Love and hope persist amid unforgiving crackdown on democratic movement

People wait outside the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts in Hong Kong on March 4. (Photo by Michelle Chan)

HONG KONG -- After a marathon four-day hearing, 47 pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong were kept in jail after being charged with subversion under Beijing's new sweeping national security law for the city. Their crime? Trying to win a majority in the city's legislature by organizing and participating in a primary poll, in what the prosecutors deem an attempt to "topple" the local government.

On March 4 -- the day when the security law-designated judge was expected to hand down bail decision, I used my commute to the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts to sort the names of the defendants in line with their assigned numbers, from D1 to D47. I did not want to lose track in a jam-packed courtroom crowded with Hong Kong's best-known opposition politicians and activists, including scholars, lawyers, veteran lawmakers, social workers, and human rights advocates.

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