HONG KONG – Joshua Wong, one among Hong Kong’s most outstanding democracy activists and amongst 47 individuals charged underneath a nationwide safety legislation, was sentenced to four months in jail on Tuesday for unauthorized meeting and violating an anti-mask legislation.
Wong, 24, had pleaded responsible to each prices, together with participating in and utilizing a facial protecting at an unauthorized meeting in October 2019 throughout the peak of anti-government protests, the court docket heard.
He had confronted a most potential sentence of three years in jail. The sentence will prolong a 13-and-a-half-month sentence he’s already serving for organising an unlawful meeting.
Wong, whom Justice of the Peace Daniel Tang referred to as an “iconic determine”, thanked his supporters, a few of who chanted, “I miss you” and “Cling in there.”
In October 2019, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers for the primary time in additional than 50 years to enact a regulation banning face masks, which many pro-democracy protesters used to cover their identities from authorities.
Below the legislation, it was unlawful to put on a masks at each lawful and illegal assemblies. Offenders confronted a most one yr in jail and a HK$25,000 wonderful.
Individuals who wanted to put on masks for well being, non secular or job-related causes have been exempt, though critics mentioned the ban was complicated.
Wong was amongst 47 democrats charged with conspiracy to commit subversion in late February underneath the town’s nationwide safety legislation for working in an unofficial major election in July final yr, the most important single crackdown on the opposition because the legislation was carried out.
He’s at present serving a 13-and-a-half-month sentence for organising and inciting an illegal meeting close to the town’s police headquarters in June 2019.
The previous British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese language rule in 1997 with the promise of wide-ranging autonomy and freedoms that pro-democracy activists, who introduced elements of the town to frequent halts in generally violent protests in 2019, say are being whittled away by Communist Celebration rulers in Beijing.
China denies interference.