Conflicts & War

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong sentenced to 13 and a half months in prison

(Update 1: Adds by-line, detail throughout)

By Shirley Lau

Hong Kong, Dec 2 (efe-epa).- A Hong Kong court sentenced activist Joshua Wong to 13 and a half months in prison for organizing an “unauthorized assembly” in 2019 outside the city’s police headquarters.

Activists Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were also sentenced to 10 and seven months in prison, respectively, after being in custody since Nov. 23 in a detention center in the city while awaiting the court’s decision.

The trio, who previously led the now-dismantled Demosisto political group, pleaded guilty to the case before a West Kowloon Hong Kong magistrate court, after which they were taken into custody at the Lai Chi Kok center.

Wong, 24, pleaded guilty to organizing and inciting an “unauthorized gathering” in front of the Wan Chai Police Headquarters on Jun. 21, 2019.

On that day thousands of protesters took to the streets to demand the withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill that sparked a wave of protests, as well as an investigation into police action.

Lam, 26, pleaded guilty to the charge of inciting the unauthorized meeting, while Chow, 23, admitted participating in the meeting.

The presiding judge Lily Wong Sze-lai ruled that Wong played a “leading role” and that his objective was “to besiege the police” in an “obvious defiance of the authority of the body.” This case is being treated more seriously than other unauthorized protests.

When being taken away from the packed courtroom, Wong, the leading face of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement over the past eight years, shouted to the crowd: “I know it’s tough but hang in there!”

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