20 February 2018
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  • » 02/06/2018, 14.37


    Occupy Central leaders released with a 'warning'

    Today's ruling overturns that of August, but promises harsher penalties for "future offenders". For Wong, there's nothing to celebrate. The court’s decision is a "a sugar-coated severe case".

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hong Kong’s highest court has ordered the release of three pro-democracy activists sentenced to months in prison last year for their role in 2014 protests.

    For one of the activists, Joshua Wong, there is no reason to celebrate the ruling because its warning against "future offenders" will have a chilling effect on future peaceful protests.

    According to the first court decision in August 2016, the three were supposed to perform community service, but the Hong Kong government, perhaps pressured by Beijing, appealed it. The subsequent trial saw Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow get six, eight and seven months in prison respectively.

    Today the Court of Final Appeal overturned the August 2017 conviction, stating that the appeal court should have considered other sentencing options.

    At the same time, the ruling includes a warning against "future offenders" who might become involved in "large scale unlawful assemblies involving violence,” noting that they will be subject to new guidelines laid down by the Court of Appeal, the same court that convicted the three in the first place.

    For Wong, there is thus "no cause for celebration", calling the ruling "a sugar-coated severe case".

    Noting that pro-democracy protesters never had any intention of physically harming anyone and insisted on non-violence, he warned that the government’s definition of "violence" will discourage people from taking part in future peaceful demonstrations. "Our freedoms will shrink," he said.

    Meanwhile, the three leaders of the Occupy Central movement were recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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    See also

    02/02/2018 09:34:00 HONG KONG-CHINA
    Occupy Central leaders nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize

    They are Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. They are the first Hong Kong personalities to be nominated for the prize and among the youngest. Praised for their nonviolent and peaceful commitment to human rights in the territory. The power of Beijing against the prize.

    21/08/2017 14:30:00 HONG KONG
    Tens of thousands protest conviction of student activists

    The protest rally was the biggest since 2014. Foreign pro-democracy activists and politicians criticise the court's decision, following the government’s appeal. Hong Kong’s chief secretary rejects the accusations, claiming that judicial independence is the foundation of the city's success.

    18/08/2017 14:57:00 HONG KONG
    Stiffer sentences for Joshua Wong and two other pro-democracy activists

    Last year the court sentenced Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow to community service, but the decision was deemed too lenient for the Hong Kong government. A prison sentence of more than three months bars people from taking part in elections for five years. For human rights activists, the court decision was politically motivated in order to silence the three and deter further protests.

    02/10/2017 11:49:00 HONG KONG - CHINA
    Hong Kong, thousands march for democracy on Chinese national holiday

    A day not for celebration, but for "national sadness" for the "status of the rule of law in Hong Kong." The memory of the three young Occupy Central activists sentenced to months in jail by will of the city government. "Political persecution" also for co-founders of umbrella movement. Demonstrators call for the resignation of justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, branded Beijing’s "puppet".

    08/11/2017 11:50:00 HONG KONG-CHINA
    Alex Chow released on bail. His thanks to Card. Zen for visiting him in prison

    Chow, along with Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, may appeal against their prison sentence. His "thank you" to secretary for justice Rimsky Yuan for "the trip" to prison, which has taught Chow the (double) standards with which justice is implemented in Hong Kong. Restoring the democratic movement. Card. Zen visits Pik Uk Prison twice a month. Every year he collects funds to give the prisoners "moon desserts", symbolic of familiar unity. 

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