After losing an eye to a Hong Kong police bullet, Raymond Yeung gets 9 months jail

Convicted of "unlawful assembly" after already having to quit his teaching job. He had become famous during the 2019 protests for personally falling victim to the violent crackdown. Friends and former students pay tribute to him in the courtroom. 

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Hong Kong authorities have sentenced former teacher and publisher Raymond Yeung to nine months in prison on charges of unlawful assembly. Among the leading figures in the autonomous territory's democracy movement-but now increasingly dependent on Beijing-he had been blind in one eye during protests in 2019 after being hit by a bullet fired by police. 

The 32-year-old activist appeared before Judge Ada Yim yesterday during a hearing held at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts and pleaded guilty to two counts of "unlawful assembly" charged against him. Local sources report that despite the serious injury he sustained, he did not receive any sentence reduction. 

At the end of the hearing, the lawyer pointed out that Yeung, famous at home as "the teacher who was shot in the eye," had already suffered the consequences of what he called a "stupid miscarriage of justice." He previously lost his job as a liberal studies teacher at a prominent girls' school and was unable to fully recover his eyesight after the incident.

The former educator, who founded a publishing company called Hillway Culture in 2016, tried to make a new life for himself and, during the trial, pleaded guilty in order to speed up the judicial process and hope for a reduced sentence. However, the prosecution pointed out that the officers had warned of the possible consequences if he protested, and law enforcement officers acted according to law and applied the authorities' directives.

The magistrate sentenced Yeung to nine months and 15 months in prison for each offense charged against him. However, a sentence deduction was applied at sentencing, stipulating that the two offenses can be served concurrently for a total of nine months. At the conclusion of the hearing, as he was escorted by officers in the direction of the prison, a group of friends and former students present in the courtroom paid their respects by greeting him and saying, "See you later."