Joshua Wong Sentenced for Taking Part in Tiananmen Vigil

HK pro-democracy leader gets 10 months for marking 1989 massacre
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 6, 2021 12:04 AM CDT
Pro-Democracy Leader Gets Jail Time for Tiananmen Vigil
In this June 4, 2020, photo, democracy activist Joshua Wong, center, and Nathan Law, left, hold candles during a vigil to remember the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre at Victoria Park in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Prominent pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to more jail time Thursday for participating in an unauthorized vigil to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, as Hong Kong authorities exert more control over dissent in the city. For years, Hong Kong was the only place in China where people were allowed to mark the anniversary of Beijing's crushing of the Chinese democracy movement, the AP reports. Despite the commemoration being banned for the first time last year, thousands of protesters defied authorities and proceeded to Victoria Park to light candles and sing songs. Police who were present at the vigil warned the protesters they may be breaking the law but made no arrests on the day itself.

Wong and three district councilors had pleaded guilty to knowingly taking part in an unauthorized assembly, and could have faced a maximum of five years in prison. Twenty other people face charges over the Tiananmen vigil but have not entered pleas. Wong, who rose to prominence as a student activist and was the face of the 2014 pro-democracy protests, is already in jail after being convicted of illegal assembly in other protests. He was sentenced to an additional 10 months. Councilors Lester Shum, Jannelle Leung, and Tiffany Yuen received sentences that range from four to six months for the Tiananmen vigil. Chow Hang-tung, vice chairperson of the group that organized the vigil, urged Hong Kong people and others around the world to continue remembering the Tiananmen crackdown by lighting a candle on June 4, wherever they are.

(More Hong Kong stories.)

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