New conviction per Joshua Wong and Koo Sze-yiu
The two activists took part in an unauthorised demonstration in 2019. Wong is already in prison on other charges and is set to be tried on more. For his part, a defiant Koo told the court, “I will violate the national security law next time,” and called for an “End the one-party dictatorship”.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The Eastern Magistrates’ Court sentenced pro-democracy activists Joshua Wong and Koo Sze-yiu to four months and five months in prison respectively for taking part in an unauthorised demonstration on 5 October 2019.
The two joined a protest against an extradition law (which was later withdrawn) and the ban on wearing masks during a public demonstration, approved a day earlier.
Wong was given a reduced sentence for pleading guilty. He is already serving a 14-month sentence for taking part in the siege of a police station in 2019.
Together with 46 other pro-democracy advocates, the young leader is set to appear before a court for organising and taking part in primary elections in July meant to select pro-democracy candidates for the September 2020 parliamentary elections (later postponed).
According to the authorities, running in elections to win a majority in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council (LegCo) is a violation of the National Security Act, if pro-democracy forces do it.
Koo, 75 and a veteran of the pro-democracy camp, has stage four cancer. He was released from prison last week after being convicted of desecrating the national flag at a demonstration last July.
In his latest brush with law, he showed up in court today without a lawyer, telling the judge that this will not be his last conviction, the Apple Daily newspaper reported.
“I will violate the national security law next time,” Koo is quoted as saying. “Don’t pity me, don’t sympathise with me, don’t be merciful to me. [. . .] Human rights are bigger than the regime, people are higher than the country”.
In wrapping up his defence plea, Koo added: “End the one-party dictatorship, down with the Communist Party.”