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Monday, January 25, 2021

Hong Kong activist Wong given 13 months prison

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Hong Kong activist Wong given 13 months prison
Hong Kong activist Wong given 13 months prison

Joshua Wong, 24, one of Hong Kong's most prominent democracy activists, was jailed on Wednesday for more than 13 months over an unlawful anti-government rally in 2019, the toughest and most high-profile sentence for an opposition figure this year.

Maha Albadrawi reports.

Prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to over a year in jail on Wednesday, after pleading guilty to organizing and inciting an unlawful protest last year.

The sentencing comes as government critics say Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on Hong Kong's opposition and wide-ranging freedoms, guaranteed by the 1997 handover of the former British colony.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong reject that assessment.

The protest in question, near Hong Kong's police headquarters last June, came when the city's sometimes violent pro-democracy rallies were already in full swing.

Wong's long-time colleagues Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were sentenced to ten and seven months, respectively, on charges linked to the same siege.

Wong first rose to prominence during the city's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014, and his continued activism has drawn the wrath of Beijing.

Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto just hours after China's parliament passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong this summer.

Under the new law, any activity Beijing considers subversion, secession, terrorism, or collusion could be punished by up to life in prison.

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