Sentencing Twist: Hong Kong Activists Now Going to Prison

Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, Alex Chow originally given community service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2017 11:45 AM CDT
Sentencing Twist: Hong Kong Activists Now Going to Prison
Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, right, chants slogans as a supporter, left, reacts outside the high court before a ruling on a prosecution request for stiffer sentences in Hong Kong on Thursday.   (Vincent Yu)

A court has overturned the earlier sentences of young Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong and two other student leaders and sentenced them to prison in connection with huge pro-democracy protests in 2014, the AP reports. Last year, Wong and student leader and disqualified lawmaker Nathan Law were sentenced to community service for leading or encouraging an illegal rally in September 2014. A third activist, Alex Chow, was given a suspended three-week prison sentence. A three-judge panel on Thursday decided to stiffen those sentences and send all three to prison. Law was sentenced to eight months, Chow to seven, and Wong to six.

In 2014, the activists brought major thoroughfares to a standstill for 11 weeks to protest Beijing's plan to restrict elections in the Chinese-ruled former British colony. Reuters says the three appeared "stern but calm" as they heard their sentences, which a lawyer involved in the case said would be appealed by the three men. The jail terms also mean they're now disqualified from running for seats in Hong Kong's legislature for the next five years. Wong tweeted: "They can silence protests, remove us from the legislature and lock us up. But they will not win the hearts and minds of Hongkongers." (More Hong Kong stories.)

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