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Hong Kong Protestors Sentenced To 13.5 Months In Prison

Joshua Wong and two other leaders of the Hong Kong student protest movement were sentenced to prison for their involvement in the clash at the Special Zone Police Force Headquarters that occurred last June. Joshua Wong faces 13.5 months in prison for organising and inciting protests, Agnes Chow is sentenced to 10 months in prison for inciting and participating in protests, while Ivan Lam will be imprisoned for 7 months for inciting protesters.

The three students’ attorneys urged the court to consider more leniency and noted that all three did not commit any acts of violence during the protest.

Before being escorted out of court, Joshua Wong shouted: "I know the road ahead is still difficult, but I will be able to hold on". The crowd of his supporters also responded and shouted "Ga-yau" (roughly translated as "More oil") - a slogan used by protesters to encourage each other.

Meanwhile, the media saw Agnes Chow cry upon hearing the verdict. Her defense lawyer said they would already have a plan to protest, but the court refused to give Agnes Chow a bail. Before the trial on 2nd December, Joshua Wong and Ivan Lam were imprisoned for many crimes related to the protest movement. As for Agnes Chow, this is the first time she has received a prison sentence. In August, she was arrested on charges of violating a new national security law that was enacted at the end of June, but was not charged.

The crowd blocked the entrance to the court building. Some extremists broke the wall and damaged security cameras but there were no serious clashes with the police.

Key terms

  1. protests

  2. violating

  3. extremists

  4. police

  5. prison

  6. incite

Key Questions

  1. Why were there protests in Hong Kong last year? Has the issue now been resolved?

  2. Do you think it is right to send these students to jail for taking part in political protests? What does this mean for freedom of speech?

  3. If you were the Chief Justice of Hong Kong, would you sentence someone for leading political protests?

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