September 11, 2018

Joshua Wong receives second jail term over 2014 protests

A Hong Kong court has jailed activist Joshua Wong for three months, his second prison sentence related to the 2014 pro-democracy protests.

Along with other activists he was found guilty of contempt of court for blocking clearance of a protest site.

He had been on bail pending an appeal against another six-month term in a separate case linked to the protests.

Wong was the public face of the protests against the perceived increase of authoritarian influence from China.

Known as Umbrella Movement, the 2014 protests brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill for nearly three months.

Ahead of the hearing, the 21-year old said he had "no regrets" about his part in the demonstrations.

"They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds," he said outside the court.

Wong had pleaded guilty, deciding not to fight the charges.

The court denied bail but granted a second hearing with Wong's lawyers for later on Wednesday on the matter.

Fellow activist Raphael Wong was sentenced to four months and 15 days. Several other activists received suspended sentences.

In August 2017, Joshua Wong was jailed for six months for unlawful assembly.

He had initially been sentenced to community service but the Hong Kong government appealed against that, arguing it was too lenient.

His new conviction on Wednesday comes just one day after his lawyers had appealed against that separate six-month sentence.

The courts will decide on the appeal for the separate charges at a later date.

The student activist was at the heart of the mass demonstrations calling for more democracy and protesting against Beijing's growing influence.

The protesters were calling for free elections for Hong Kong's leadership but failed to achieve their goal. Several of their leaders, including Joshua Wong have since entered politics.

Hong Kong was handed over from British rule to China in 1997 with Beijing agreeing to govern the territory under the principle of "one country, two systems".

Under this Basic Law, Hong Kong would enjoy "a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs" for the next 50 years.

Original Article


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