06/03/2021, 09.40
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Up to 8 months in prison for 5 Mong Kok protesters

Four are students, including the former president of the Chinese university student union. The new bishop of Hong Kong petitions for the reduction of the sentence for one of the accused. Police set to deploy 3,000 officers to stop June 4 Tiananmen vigil.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A Kowloon court yesterday sentenced five people to between six and eight months in prison for having taken part in an unauthorized demonstration on October 20, 2019.

On that day, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Mong Kok to protest against a law that prohibited the use of masks in public places. The protests which began peacefully, deteriorated into clashes between demonstrators and policemen.

Owen Au, former president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Students Union was among the five convicted; the others are three university students and a 49-year-old who worked in a department of the same university.

After their arrest in May, all the offenders applied for a sentence reduction. According to Apple Daily reports, the request for Walter Tse, a student of the faculty of architecture, was presented by Msgr. Stephen Chow, recently appointed the new bishop of the former British colony.

Meanwhile, tension is mounting for tomorrow, the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. The police are ready to deploy 3,000 officers to prevent rallies commemorating the demonstrators killed in Beijing on June 4, 1989. On May 27, the police banned the holding of the traditional vigil in Victoria Park in memory of the incident. As in 2020, the authorities justified the ban with the need to respect Covid-19 prevention measures.

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