Hong Kong democracy leader Joshua Wong sent back to jail

HONG KONG (Reuters) – One of the young leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 “Umbrella” pro-democracy street protests was sent back to jail on Thursday after losing an appeal against a prison term for contempt of court.

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to members of the media at the High Court in Hong Kong, China May 16, 2019. REUTERS/James Pomfret

Joshua Wong, 22, was sentenced to three months in jail in January last year for disobeying a court order and not leaving a protest zone during the rallies that blocked major roads in the Chinese-ruled city for nearly three months.

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction but reduced his jail sentence to two months, citing his young age as a reason. He had earlier served six days before being released pending the appeal.

Wong, then just 17, was at the forefront of the broad civil disobedience movement that presented China’s Communist Party rulers in Beijing with one of their biggest political challenges in decades.

“It is an affront to the court and must be met with a deterrent sentence,” the three judges said in a written summary.

“Any suggestion that he is punished because of his status or notoriety as a committed social activist or any other reason, whatever it might be, is entirely baseless and misconceived.”

As guards led Wong away, he shouted: “Everyone keep going!” Dozens of supporters in the public gallery cheered back in response.

Dozens more had gathered outside the court building, some waving yellow umbrellas – the symbol of the 2014 protests.

Both Wong and his supporters also called for the scrapping of Hong Kong government proposals to remove long-standing blocks on extraditing wanted suspects from Hong Kong to countries with which the city has no extradition agreements – including mainland China.

“Even though they can lock up our bodies, they can’t lock up our minds,” Wong said as he entered court to hear the verdict.

Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997 with a guarantee of wide-ranging freedoms, including an independent judiciary and freedom of speech, but critics accuse Beijing of increasing pressure on the freewheeling global financial hub.

Wong’s sentence comes as concerns widen over the extradition amendments, uniting some opposition, business and legal groups as well as Western governments.

More street protests are expected in coming weeks, with some seeing the extradition plans as the latest sign of Beijing’s interference. China’s main representative “Liaison Office” in Hong Kong said in a statement on Wednesday that the extradition law was urgently needed and had a sound legal foundation.

In a related case in February last year, Hong Kong’s highest court freed Wong and two other leaders in a stark reversal of an earlier jail sentence, but warned against future acts of dissent.

Reporting by James Pomfret, Greg Torode and Shellin Li; Editing by Nick Macfie

Source

more recommended stories

  • Yemen’s Houthis say attacked Saudi’s Jizan airport by drone – Masirah TV

    DUBAI (Reuters) – Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi.

  • Mexican military helicopter crashes, killing six

    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican.

  • Israelis protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme Court

    TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Thousands of.

  • China calls on Germany to correct ‘mistakes’ over asylum for Hong Kong independence activists

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China has made.

  • Trump arrives in Japan for ceremonial visit as trade tensions loom

    TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald.

  • Trump arrives in Japan for ceremonial visit as trade tensions loom

    TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald.

  • Judge blocks some funds Trump sought for U.S.-Mexico border wall

    The Trump administration must temporarily halt.

  • Protesters demand end to killings of transgender women, Trump rollbacks

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Protesters chanting.

  • Jayme Closs kidnapper ’embodiment of evil,’ sentenced to life

    BARRON, Wis. (Reuters) – A Wisconsin.

  • Sweden’s Thunberg demands climate action on day of global school strikes

    STOCKHOLM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Swedish teenage activist.

  • Fire in shopping centre in India kills at least seven

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A fire.

  • Exclusive: Jaitley unlikely to remain Indian finance minister in Modi’s new term – sources

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Finance.

  • Japan PM Abe considering visit to Iran as early as mid-June – NHK

    FILE PHOTO : Japan’s Prime Minister.

  • Trump orders intelligence community to cooperate with review on Russia probe origins

    President Donald Trump looks on as.

  • House Speaker Pelosi urges Trump family ‘intervention’ with U.S. president

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House of Representatives.

  • India’s Modi stuns opposition with huge election win

    NEW DELHI/AYODHYA (Reuters) – Indian Prime.

  • Belarus reburies over 1,200 Jews unearthed in Nazi-era mass grave

    BREST, Belarus (Reuters) – Belarus on.

  • Malaysian police raid Deloitte office for 1MDB-related documents – sources

    Men walk past a 1 Malaysia.

  • Upstart nationalist Baudet vies to become largest Dutch party in Europe

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A 36-year-old nationalist.

  • New Mexico counties revolt against migrant releases

    TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – Two more.

  • Trump antagonist Avenatti indicted for ripping off Stormy Daniels, extorting Nike

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Michael Avenatti’s.

  • Protesters, police clash in second night of post-election protests in Indonesia

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police fired.

  • Europe holds ‘most important’ EU vote

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans start voting.

  • Turkey preparing for possible U.S. sanctions over S-400s – minister

    ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s defence minister.

  • Indonesian police arrest at least 20 amid post-election violence

    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian police have.

  • In an Indian village, Muslims talk of leaving as divide with Hindus widens

    NAYABANS, India (Reuters) – Muslims in.

  • U.S. House Democrats subpoena more Trump ex-aides, including Hicks

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House.

  • Dutch politician resigns over asylum seeker crime report

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch junior Justice.

  • Trump – U.S. will respond with ‘great force’ if Iran attacks interests

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump.

  • In tearful ceremony, Sri Lanka Catholics mark one month since bombings

    Devotees light candles while praying in.

  • Austrian motor racing great Niki Lauda, who survived fiery crash, dies

    VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrian motor racing.

  • Nicaraguan government says to release 100 political prisoners

    MANAGUA (Reuters) – The Nicaraguan government.