© Reuters. Professional-democracy activists Ivan Lam, Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive on the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts to face fees associated to unlawful meeting stemming from 2019, in Hong Kong
By Jessie Pang and Joyce Zhou
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was remanded in custody on Monday after pleading responsible to fees of organising and inciting an unauthorised meeting close to the police headquarters throughout final 12 months’s anti-government protests.
Wong, who was simply 17 years outdated when he turned the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Motion democracy protests, faces a most three-year jail time period. The sentence can be delivered by Dec 2 at 2.30 p.m. (1830 GMT)
Earlier than being taken away by safety workers, Wong shouted “Everybody dangle in there! Add oil” within the courtroom, utilizing a well-liked Cantonese expression of encouragement typically used throughout protests.
Wong didn’t plead responsible to a 3rd cost of knowingly collaborating in an unauthorised meeting after the prosecution supplied no proof for it.
His long-time activist colleagues Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, who additionally pleaded responsible for related fees, had been remanded in custody on the identical trial.
“Maybe the authorities want me to remain in jail one time period after one other,” Wong mentioned in an announcement earlier than coming into the courtroom.
“However I’m persuaded that, neither jail bars, nor election bans, nor every other arbitrary powers would cease us from activism. What we’re doing now could be to clarify the worth of freedom to the world.”
Dozens of supporters outdoors the courtroom chanted pro-democracy slogans and “Launch Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam!”
Wong was not a number one determine in final 12 months’s pro-democracy and anti-China protests, however his continued activism has drawn the wrath of Beijing, which sees him as a “black hand” of international forces.
He disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto in June, simply hours after China’s parliament handed a sweeping nationwide safety regulation for Hong Kong, punishing something Beijing considers to be subversion, secessionism, terrorism and collusion with international forces, with as much as life in jail.
Wong additionally faces fees of collaborating in an unauthorised meeting in October 2019 and on June 4, 2020 over a vigil commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and round Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq. in 1989.
Earlier this 12 months, Wong was disqualified alongside 11 different pro-democracy politicians and activists from working in a since-postponed election for town’s legislature.
Wong spent 5 weeks in jail final 12 months for contempt of courtroom, earlier than being launched on June 16 when protests had been already in full swing.
Wong’s and different activists’ repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments who say China shouldn’t be fulfilling its obligation to permit Hong Kong a excessive diploma of autonomy, agreed with former colonial grasp Britain when town returned to Chinese language rule in 1997.
China denies the accusation and says Hong Kong is its inner affair.
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