Tuesday, 22 October, 2019

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in jail

Freedom in the World 2018 Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in jail
Patty Aguilar | 17 January, 2018, 08:59

A Hong Kong court has sentenced democracy activist Joshua Wong to three months in jail in a contempt case stemming from the 2014 "Umbrella Movement" protests.

Wong and another activist, Raphael Wong Ho-ming, were remanded in custody while 14 other defendants were dealt suspended sentences, according to the South China Morning Post.

Wong had pleaded guilty a year ago for failing to comply with a court order to clear out of a protest camp during the 79-day gathering in the semiautonomous Chinese city.

"Although Mr Wong stayed in the area for just one and a half hours, his involvement in obstructing the clearance operation was deep and extensive", judge Andrew Chan said in relation to Joshua Wong's sentence. "He played a leading role on that day". "In view of his overall involvement, I am of the view that only appropriate punishment for Mr Wong will be one of immediate imprisonment".

A Hong Kong court sentenced Wong to three months in jail in a contempt case stemming from pro-democracy protests. "Our determination to fight for genuine universal suffrage will not waver", stated Raphael Wong in the courtroom before being taken away.

He and other leaders of the protests are appealing their sentences in a separate case.

It comes as some fear prison terms for leading campaigners are discouraging young people from expressing their views and muzzling freedom of speech in the semi-autonomous city, where there are growing signs that China is increasing its control.

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Ahead of the hearing, Joshua Wong - who became the teenage face of the Umbrella Movement - said he had "no regrets" about his involvement.

Speaking outside court prior to sentencing, Joshua Wong told his supporters: "You can lock up our body, but you can't lock up our mind".

The 79-day civil disobedience movement for greater democracy, which brought parts of the city to a standstill, was triggered by Beijing's restrictive framework on political reform in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 amid promises that the Asian financial hub would enjoy a high degree of autonomy under a so-called "one country, two systems" arrangement.

Wong's party Demosisto wants self-determination for the city.

The agreement allows citizens rights unseen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and a partially directly elected parliament, as well as an independent judiciary.

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