Published: Fri, August 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Joshua Wong jailed for anti-Beijing protests

Joshua Wong jailed for anti-Beijing protests

Joshua Wong and two other young leaders of Hong Kong's huge Umbrella Movement rallies in 2014 were jailed today for their role in the pro-democracy protests.

Wong and Chow were found guilty past year of unlawful assembly, while Law was found guilty of inciting people to take part in the assembly. Wong shouted: "Hong Kong people, don't give up!" as he was led away by security.

A three-judge panel on Thursday chose to stiffen those sentences following a prosecution request and send all three to prison.

Now, Wong and Law have been sentenced to six and eight months in prison, respectively.

A lower court had previously avoided deterrent punishment for Wong, Law and Chow, citing their "genuine wish to express their political ideals and concerns for society".

In 2014, the three spearheaded student protests which sparked a massive pro-democracy movement in the city.

They were immediately taken to serve their sentences of up to eight months, which have the added outcome of blocking each of them from seeking public office for five years.

The "umbrella revolution" demands democracy and the right to select the next chief executive of Hong Kong. All three had budding political careers, but these new sentences bar them from running for public office for the next five years.

"The real danger to the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in Hong Kong is the authorities' continued persecution of prominent democracy activists".

"Time is on our side and one day Hong Kong will be a place we can determine our own future".

Here's a suggestion for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, which opens its nominating season next month: Look to the three young men who earlier today became Hong Kong's first prisoners of conscience.

The appeal judges at the High Court had been expected to send the three to prison, following their decision in a similar case this week involving 13 activists given eight to 13 months' jail time after their original community-service sentences were overturned.

Wong had been girding for such a possibility and tweeted to his followers that they shouldn't abandon the movement.

Immediately after the sentence was announced, Wong took to his Twitter account with a series of defiant messages, ending his series of tweets with a simple "see you soon".

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