China hands Hong Kong journalists prison terms

A southern Chinese court has handed prison terms to four people, including at least two Hong Kong journalists, on charges of running an illegal business after they reportedly sent copies of their sensitive political magazine to mainland China.

A court in Shenzhen said Wednesday the four individuals received prison sentences of up to five years each. The sentencing follows the high-profile disappearances of five Hong Kong booksellers that raised questions about the semiautonomous territory's status as a free press haven for material banned on the mainland.

Hong Kong media reports say two of those convicted included Hong Kong magazine publisher Wang Jianmin and editor Guo Zhongxiao, who were arrested in 2014.

Reports cite their lawyers as saying their clients mailed only eight copies of the magazine to friends in China.