Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a press conference in Hong Kong, April 2020
Xinhua / eyevine / Redux

For senior figures in Hong Kong’s democracy movement, April is truly the “cruelest month”—and has been for two years in a row.

Last April, the most prominent nonstudent leaders of the 2014 protest movement known as the Umbrella Movement were sent to prison. Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, both in their 50s, were longtime advocates of nonviolent civil disobedience. Last weekend, the police arrested 15 more veterans of the uphill battle to preserve the freedoms that make Hong Kong special. Those detained included the revered legal luminaries Martin Lee and Margaret Ng, 81 and 72 years old, respectively, and the

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