Student pro-democracy activists Nathan Law (left), Joshua Wong (centre) and Alex Chow (right) speak to the media outside Hong Kong’s High Court in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, the day of their sentencing for unlawful assembly on the first day of the Occupy Central Umbrella Movement when they stormed the Civic Square outside the Hong Kong government headquarters in Sept 2014. (EPA photo)
HONG KONG — A Hong Kong appeal court on Thursday jailed three prominent young Hong Kong democracy leaders for several months for “unlawful assembly” linked to the city’s months-long pro-democracy protests in 2014.
The three are 20-year-old Joshua Wong, former student leader Alex Chow, 26, and Nathan Law, 24, the youngest ever democratically elected lawmaker in Hong Kong. They were jailed for six, seven and eight months respectively.
“We have no regrets,” Mr Law said before entering the courthouse. “Whatever the outcome, my heart is free. What I have done honors the justice and values that we believe in.”
Mr Wong said he is honoured to have taken part in the struggle.
“Jail time is not ideal,” Mr Wong said. “But if the young people who are jailed have not given up, those who are outside of prison have no reason to.”
Mr Chow urged supporters to “persevere through hard times” and reiterated his belief in justice, freedom and democracy.
The trio were spared imprisonment by a magistrate last August, in consideration of their selfless and high-minded motives.
Mr Chow was originally given an 80-hour community service order but the magistrate instead handed him a three-week prison term, suspended for one year, so that he could go to London to further his academic studies, while Law and Wong were given 120-hour and 80-hour community service orders, respectively.
The former British colony, which last month celebrated the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule, was gridlocked by nearly three months of street protests in 2014’s “Umbrella Movement” that failed to convince Beijing to allow full democracy in the city of 7.3 million.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activists defiant in face of possible jail term
— AFP news agency ()
Earlier video report:
Joshua Wong and 2 other leaders of Hong Kong’s democracy movement were sentenced to 6 to 8 months in prison
— . ()