Wong said last week he expected to be imprisoned after he admitted staging the event early on in the city’s protest movement, which began with the millions march against the extradition bill before turning into a broader pro-democracy campaign.
At the Magistrates Court in West Colón on Wednesday, the 24-year-old was sentenced to 13 and a half months in prison for organizing and inciting others to attend an illegal gathering outside the police headquarters in June 2019.
Their fellow activists, Agnes Chau, 23, and Evan Lam, 26, were sentenced to 10 and 7 months in prison, respectively.
Local media reported that Judge Wong Sze Lai took into account Lam Wong’s previous records, and said imprisonment was the only appropriate option to deter others.
All three were imprisoned on the spot, and an application by Zhao to release him on bail pending appeal was rejected.
Wong pleaded guilty to organizing and inciting, blamed for inciting, and Zhao for instigating and attending. Wong and Lam had initially intended to fight the charges, until on the eve of the trial announcing that they would plead guilty to some. Zhao, who is also facing possible charges under the National Security Act after his August arrest, had already decided to plead guilty in hopes of commuting the sentence.
Before leaving court last week, Wong shouted:Everyone is hanging there – add oil“Using a phrase of encouragement that is often heard in protests. When he was led away on Wednesday, he shouted, ‘I’ll stay there.’
The three were refused bail after submitting their requests and they were placed in pretrial detention. Wong was held in solitary confinement after an X-ray showed a “shadow” in his stomach, according to a post on the activist’s social media page. Both Wong and Lam have been imprisoned before, but it was the first time in pretrial detention for Zhao, who is 24, on Thursday. She recently said that she was mentally ill while in custody, and it was evident that she was depressed during the Wednesday ruling.
More than 10,000 protesters have been arrested for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, many of them on dubious charges of rioting and unauthorized assembly that did not take place in court.
Zhao Wong gained notoriety in the 79 days Parachute movement 2014 protests calling for universal suffrage for Hong Kong residents. As a result of those protests, Wong and Chau and their fellow activist now living in the United Kingdom, Nathan Low, co-founded the pro-democracy Democratic Party. Its four candidates elected to the Legislative Council were them not qualified To amend the oath of office when they tried to take their seats. The party was formally dissolved after the introduction of the National Security Act in June.
Wong and Chao are two of the most prominent figures in the pro-democracy movement. After Wong was arrested in September, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “extremely concerned” and described it as “another example of Hong Kong authorities targeting activists”.
Wong maintained a defiant approach throughout the case, saying last week, “I am convinced that neither the prison bars nor the election ban nor any other abusive authorities prevent us from being active.”
He also urged people to focus on the plight of “Hong Kong 12”, the detained group accused of attempting to illegally travel to Taiwan by boat in August. They have been held in a detention center on the mainland since then, and their families have accused the authorities of preventing the group from contacting lawyers, visitors, or medical treatment.
Chow That gave up her British nationality To run in Hong Kong’s elections, he was one of the first Democratic politicians to be prevented from running for office because the party called for “self-determination”.
One of her most successful roles has been to attract international attention to the Hong Kong democracy movement, aided by her fluency in English, Cantonese, and Japanese. She built a huge social media platform in Japan in particular. Zhao was arrested in August under the National Security Act, on suspicion of “collusion with foreign forces”.
At least 31 people were arrested under the National Security Act imposed by Beijing in late June, which bans a wide range of acts such as discord, secession, foreign collusion and terrorism.