NewsHong Kong activist Joshua Wong sentenced to 13 months...

Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong sentenced to 13 months in jail over 2019 protest


Two different activists, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, had been sentenced to 10 months and 7 months in jail respectively over the protest on June 21, 2019. Chow confronted fees referring to inciting and collaborating within the protest, whereas Lam was charged with inciting the protest.

The trio — all former members of the disbanded political celebration Demosisto — had been remanded in custody since November 23, and had been transferred from jail to court docket to listen to their sentences. A whole lot of supporters turned out on the West Kowloon Magistrates Court docket Wednesday, in addition to a small variety of pro-China demonstrators.

In a letter he wrote in jail, printed on his social media accounts previous to sentencing, Wong — who confronted as much as three years in jail — described how he had been positioned in solitary confinement after an X-ray allegedly revealed “overseas objects” in his abdomen. A jail service consultant didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark about Wong’s claims.

Wong’s lawyer, Jonathan Man, mentioned his shopper “was struggling through the interval of solitary confinement,” which he mentioned ended final Thursday. Man added that whereas Lam was “okay,” 23-year-old Chow was struggling in jail, as “it’s the first time she was remanded and (she) was not used to the atmosphere.”

In a letter posted to Chow’s social media accounts previous to Wednesday’s sentencing, she wrote that she was having hassle sleeping and was feeling “underneath the climate.” Chow added that she was “very anxious” in regards to the “excessive chance” of her receiving a jail time period. “I hope that everybody outdoors the jail partitions are doing effectively,” she mentioned.

Wednesday’s sentence marks the fourth time Wong has been jailed, and the longest sentence he has obtained, with earlier stints in jail all lasting lower than six months.

Within the sentencing doc, the court docket mentioned that “deterrent sentences are warranted to safeguard public pursuits.”

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“As soon as once more, the federal government has used the politically motivated cost of ‘inciting others to protest’ to prosecute individuals who have merely spoken out and protested peacefully,” Amnesty Worldwide’s Asia-Pacific regional director Yamini Mishra mentioned in an announcement.

“By focusing on well-known activists from Hong Kong’s largely leaderless protest motion, authorities are sending a warning to anybody who dares brazenly criticize the federal government that they might be subsequent.”

Mishra added that “even in protests the place remoted acts of violence passed off and public property was broken, these shouldn’t be attributed to others or the organizers, or to the meeting usually.”

Political prosecutions

Wednesday’s sentencing was the most recent associated to the 2019 protests. About 2,000 folks have confronted fees similar to rioting, unlawful meeting and possession of weapons.

Wong himself faces different fees over a rally in October final 12 months, and police have mentioned investigations into the unrest are persevering with.

Final month, plenty of former pro-democracy lawmakers had been arrested over protests staged within the metropolis’s legislature, whereas a reporter for public broadcaster RTHK was additionally detained.
The protests have largely stopped this 12 months, as a result of Covid-19 social distancing restrictions and the nationwide safety legislation imposed on the town by Beijing in the summertime. The legislation criminalizes secession, subversion and collusion with overseas forces, and carries with it strict jail phrases.
It was used to bar Wong and plenty of different candidates from standing for elections that had been as a result of be held in September, however had been postponed due to the coronavirus. A number of of these disqualified had been sitting lawmakers, who had been subsequently ejected from the parliament by Beijing — overruling constitutional precedent and bypassing Hong Kong’s courts — on November 11, sparking the mass resignation of your complete pro-democratic camp.

The transfer got here the identical week because the US State Division sanctioned plenty of high Chinese language officers in Hong Kong for “threatening the peace, safety, and autonomy” of the town, a transfer the native authorities described as “barbaric interference.”

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Different nations have additionally criticized China over the continuing crackdown, with the European Council saying the transfer to disqualify opposition lawmakers constituted a “additional extreme blow” to freedom of opinion within the metropolis and “considerably undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Some in Hong Kong have reacted to the worsening political system by emigrating — or within the case of these going through prosecution, fleeing overseas.

This summer season, a dozen Hong Kongers had been arrested by the Chinese language coast guard en path to Taiwan. All are actually detained on the mainland and going through a raft of fees. A former independence activist, Tony Chung, was additionally arrested after allegedly trying to assert asylum on the US consulate to Hong Kong, together with a number of others.
In his letter from jail, Wong urged the general public to “proceed to concentrate” to the 12 detained in China. Individually Tuesday, parliamentarians from 18 nations wrote to Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam to induce her to intervene on their behalf.

“In your position as Chief Govt, it’s incumbent on you to intercede on behalf of those younger folks to make sure that they’re assured justice,” the lawmakers wrote, expressing concern a few justice system “the place imprisonment is actually assured, torture is widespread and compelled confessions are continuously demanded of suspects.”

“To proceed to fail to take action could be a gross abdication of your accountability to serve the folks of Hong Kong and guarantee their wellbeing and security,” the letter added.

CNN’s Jadyn Sham contributed reporting.


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