Sun, 17 Jan 2021

Hong Kong, December 3 (ANI): Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong on Wednesday was sentenced to more than 13 months of prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a pro-democracy protest last year over a proposed extradition bill with China.

Apart from Wong, other activists who have been jailed are Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam. Wong received 13.5 months behind bars, Chow 10 months and Lam 7 months, CNN reported.

While condemning the court ruling, fellow activist Nathan Law called the prison sentence "blatant attack" on the Hong Kong activists, whose wishes are solely bringing democracy to the semi-autonomous region.

"It's devastating to witness three of my former colleagues, Joshua, Agnes, Ivan are jailed. The sentencing is absurd. Retweet if you have the same demands: Immediate release of the trio. Stop prosecuting under National Security Law. Sanction accountable govt officials," Nathan Law tweeted.

"Once again, it's another blatant attack on the HK activists, whose wishes are solely bringing democracy to Hong Kong. Beijing never fulfilled their promises Rather, they have politically suppressed tens of thousands of protestors who are chanting for their legitimate claims," Nathan said in a subsequent tweet.

Reacting to the latest development, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "As 3 Hong Kong activists begin prison sentences, I urge the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to bring an end to their campaign to stifle opposition.""Prosecution decisions must be fair and impartial, and the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong must be upheld," he added.

Last month, Joshua Wong was remanded in custody after pleading guilty to two charges related to a protest last year.

This comes after a number of former pro-democracy lawmakers have been arrested in the month of October over protests after the draconian national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing. The law criminalizes secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces and carries with it strict prison terms. It came into effect from July 1.

He was arrested for participating in an 'unauthorised' assembly in October last year along with fellow activists Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam.

Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto in June, just hours after China's parliament passed national security law for Hong Kong, bypassing the city's local legislature.

The law barred Wong and a number of other candidates from standing for elections that were due to be held in September but were postponed due to the coronavirus. Several of those disqualified were sitting lawmakers, who were subsequently ejected from the parliament by Beijing overruling constitutional precedent and bypassing Hong Kong's courts on November 11, sparking the mass resignation of the entire pro-democratic camp.

Several countries have criticised China, with the European Council saying the move to disqualify opposition lawmakers constituted a "further severe blow" to freedom of opinion in the city and "significantly undermines Hong Kong's autonomy." (ANI)

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