01/17/2018, 11.01
HONG KONG-CHINA
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Joshua Wong sentenced to three months in prison

by Paul Wang

The Occupy Central activist guilty, along with 14 others, of contempt of court for blocking clearance of a protest site. Wong may present himself in the parliamentary elections.  Beijing pushes for maximum sentence. " They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Joshua Wong, the most notorious democratic activist of the Occupy Central movement, was sentenced today to three months in prison for contempt of court for blocking clearance of a 2014 protest site.

Wong had already been convicted of occupation of public land, and was on bail awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

Along with him, Raphael Wong, vice-president of the student league of social democrats, was sentenced to four months and 15 days. Another student leader, Lester Shum, received a suspended sentence, along with 13 other people aged 18 to 65.

The defense team had asked for more clemency, pointing out that the defendants acted non-violently and were driven by an ideal. Supreme court judge, Andrew Chan Hing-wai, felt that the occupation of public land had consequences for the population, especially the poorest and most defenseless. In any case, the sentence of no more than three months for Joshua Wong, does not seem to compromise his chanced to run in the next parliamentary elections in the territory.

Many activists and friends gathered in the hall and outside the court. The judicial sentences against the members of Occupy Central reveal Beijing’s exertion of undue pressure on the legal system. Previously, Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were only sentenced to months of social service, but the Hong Kong government (at the suggestion of Beijing, the activists say), called for a review of the trial, leading to the infliction of a prison sentence. Last October 1, thousands protested criticizing the justice secretary, Kimsky Yuen Kwok-keung and accusing him of being "a puppet of Beijing".

Before being taken away, Joshua Wong, turned to his friends and journalists saying: " They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds".

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