by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) Aug 22, 2017
With hair newly shaven in accordance with Hong Kong prison rules, jailed pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was in court again Tuesday on more protest-related charges.
Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow were sent to prison last Thursday for their leading role in the initial protest that sparked the months-long Umbrella Movement of 2014 -- demonstrations and street blockades calling for democratic reforms.
Their jailing has been slammed by international rights groups and politicians and has prompted accusations that the independence of Hong Kong's courts has been compromised under pressure from Beijing.
Tens of thousands turned out in protest Sunday.
Wong was at High Court Tuesday as part of another case dating back to the Umbrella Movement.
He is one of 20 activists charged with contempt of court for violating an order to clear the Mong Kok protest camp -- scene of some of the most violent clashes during the demonstrations.
In closing arguments prosecutor Victor Dawes said that by obstructing bailiffs the defendants had intended to "interfere with the administration of justice" which amounted to criminal contempt.
Dawes added that the large crowd meant there were safety and public order concerns.
Crowds of protesters gathered around workmen trying to tear down road barricades in November 2014 which were part of the Mong Kok camp, leading to scuffles with police who made arrests and pushed them back.
Defence lawyer Hectar Pun said the injunction was to remove obstructions, not people, from the road.
"The plaintiffs or plaintiff agents or bailiffs...are not authorised to clear human beings from the area," he told the court.
- 'Determined attitude' -
Other activists sentenced on contempt charges have received up to three-month prison terms.
Supporters packed the courtroom and the areas outside.
Before the case began, Veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung, known as Long Hair, shouted: "They have Rimsky Yuen -- you have the Hong Kong people!", referring to the city's justice minister at the centre of the controversy over the jailings.
Joshua and fellow defendant Raphael Wong, who is also in custody, responded with a cheer from the dock, surrounded by four uniformed guards.
Hong Kong was returned from Britain to China in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" arrangement, guaranteeing freedoms unseen on the mainland, but there are growing concerns those rights are disappearing as an assertive Beijing tightens its grip.
The government has vehemently denied there was political interference in the decision by the Court of Appeal last week to overturn previous non-custodial terms for Wong, Law and Chow. The court jailed them for six to eight months after a sentencing review brought by the department of justice.
Prosecutors have filed a raft of cases against pro-democracy activists with fears that more will be jailed in the wake of last week's judgement.
Lester Shum, another prominent Umbrella Movement activist and one of the defendants in court Tuesday, said before the hearing that he felt relaxed about his case, adding he was inspired by the "determined attitude" of other jailed activists.
The hearing was adjourned due to an approaching typhoon and is set to resume Wednesday.
Hong Kong (AFP) Aug 17, 2017
Joshua Wong and two other young leaders of Hong Kong's huge Umbrella Movement rallies were jailed Thursday for their role in the 2014 pro-democracy protests, dealing a fresh blow to the campaign for political reform. The sentences handed down by the city's Court of Appeal came as fears grow that Beijing is tightening its grip on the semi-autonomous city and that rule of law is being compromi ... read more
China News from SinoDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|