Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed over 2014 pro-democracy protest
- Author: David Armstrong Jan 19, 2018,
Jan 19, 2018, 1:56
Student activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced by a Hong Kong court to a second jail term of three months for participating in the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014. Both are already on bail related to separate cases.
"We are very disappointed with the ruling", Law said after the court denied bail to the Wongs.
"It is a colossal mistake to use court orders and trials in court to try to resolve an issue that comes from a political source; namely, the failure to implement universal suffrage", Law said.
But Beijing has ultimate control, and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong contest it is increasingly clamping down on the city's constitutionally enshrined freedoms.
Judge Andrew Chan described Wong's involvement in obstructing the clearance in 2014 as "deep and extensive" in his written judgement. "The only appropriate punishment for Mr Wong is immediate imprisonment".
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 cannot lock up our minds", Wong told reporters outside the High Court before the ruling was handed down.
The court also jailed Raphael Wong, vice-chairman of the League of Social Democrats, for four and a half months for his "active" role in obstructing court bailiffs.
The prison term dealt the latest blow to Wong, who was sentenced in August to six months in prison after he was found guilty of unlawful assembly. He is now free on bail appealing that ruling. The party said they did not believe the prosecutions could provide a solution to any political problems, nor would oppressing dissidents win the support of the people. Consequently, they were all guilty of criminal contempt of court.
Several others involved in the 2014 demonstrations received suspended sentences, according to the South China Morning Post, with the sentences ranging in length from one to two months.
The mass street protest, which was known as "Occupy Central", ended with more than 1,000 people being arrested but failed to press Beijing for a democratic reform plan.
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.