Released pending appeal, scheduled for 7 November. Sentenced to months in jail for having demonstrated in 2014. Activists’ protests continue: justice serves Beijing.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, two of the three democracy activists sentenced to August to months in prison, have been released on bail. The High Court issued the temporary bail, pending the appeal hearing presented by the three student leaders. Following a request by the government to increase the initial sentence to forced labor, the ruling triggered protests and accusations of the justice system being orchestrated by Beijing.
Supreme Court President Geoffrey Ma granted the two pro-democracy activists temporary release on $ 50,000 Hong Kong bail [about $ 5,450] per head. Wong and Law are facing six and eight months of imprisonment. Their companion Alex Chow did not apply for bail.
The final hearing will be held on 7 November.
The three were arrested for crossing the Hong Kong government building fence on September 26, 2014, triggering a series of sit-ins in the central area known as Occupy Central or the umbrella movement (used by young people to defend themselves from the police water cannons). The demonstrators were demanding the direct election of the head of the territory's executive, currently elected by a committee of 1200 people, mostly pro-Beijing.
On October 1, thousands of people marched in protest showing signs and photos of Hong Kong's secretary of justice, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, calling for his resignation, accusing him of "political persecution," and being a "puppet" at Beijing's service.