07/21/2016, 12.41
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Occupy Central: Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow convicted of unlawful assembly

by Paul Wang

The three young people who gave rise to the protest of the "umbrellas" will likely face a few years in prison. Occupy Central was born to demand full democracy in the territory. Wong: "We do not regret what we have done." The threat to freedom of expression.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The young student Joshua Wong Chi-fung (pictured left), leader of the Scholarism activist group, has been found guilty for having jumped the fence of the building of the Government of Hong Kong on September 26, 2014 . His action, together with that of hundreds of other students, and especially the violent police response, triggered the series of sit-ins at the nerve center of the city that took on the name of Occupy Central.

The protest lasted over two months, and was supported by hundreds of thousands of people, before being dismantled by police in mid-December 2014, without obtaining any results from Beijing.

The Occupy Central or "umbrellas" movement (used by protesters to defend themselves from the police water cannons), was born to demand from Beijing the direct election of the chief executive of the territory, who is currently chosen by a panel of 1200 people, mostly pro-Beijing.

Together with Joshua Wong, now 19 years old, Nathan Law, 23 (center in the photo), head of Demosisto Group, and Alex Chow (right in photo), 25, were also sentenced. At the time, they were secretary of the student federation. All of them are guilty of incitement and unlawful assembly. The ruling will be issued on August 15 next. Wong risks five years in prison.

On leaving the court, in front of reporters, Wong said: "We have no regrets for what we have done." And Law added: "Our action began the Movement of Umbrellas".

The Catholic and Protestant Church in Hong Kong have always been close to the democratic demands of the territory. Occupy Central is considered an example of great civil responsibility by the Hong Kong people, often slated as only being interested in work and money.

Mabel Au of Amnesty International Hong Kong said that "the sentencing of the student leaders on the basis of vague charges such as 'unlawful assembly' smacks of political revenge of the authorities ... The continued persecution of important figures of the umbrellas movement is a blow to freedom of expression and peaceful association in Hong Kong. "

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