Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong jailed over ‘unlawful’ Tiananmen Square vigil

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The Hong Kong administration banned the vigil this time around, citing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, a first since 1990, but the district court heard that some 20,000 participants, including Joshua Wong, had still gathered on June 4, according to the South China Morning Post.

PUBLISHED ON MAY 06, 2021 09:03 AM IST

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong’s sentence was extended by another 10 months by the administration after he pleaded guilty to taking part in an “unlawful” Tiananmen Square protest last year, news agencies reported on Wednesday. The charges relate to Wong participating in an “unauthorised assembly” on June 4 last year to commemorate the Chinese regime’s 1989 crackdown on protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, reported news agency Reuters.

In what is sometimes called the 1989 ‘Tiananmen Square massacre’ or the ‘June Fourth incident’, Chinese troops armed with assault rifles and tanks fired on student-led protest demonstrations in Beijing to suppress the popular national movement. The Communist Party of China continues to forbid any discussion of the incident, but June 4 is commemorated by several ‘pro-democracy’ activists, including those in Hong Kong, in a vigil to remember the deaths of the protesters.

The Hong Kong administration banned the vigil this time around, citing the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, a first since 1990, but the district court heard that some 20,000 participants, including Joshua Wong, had still gathered on June 4, according to the South China Morning Post.

Wong, 24, already in prison because of other illegal assembly convictions and among 47 activists charged under the city’s sweeping national security law, was sentenced in the district court on Thursday. A 15-month sentence was reduced to 10 because of his guilty plea.

Three other prominent young activists — Lester Shum, Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai, and Jannelle Rosalynne Leung — who also participated in the demonstrations, were sentenced to prison as well, albeit for a lesser duration than Wong’s. Two other defendants, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Sunny Cheung Kwan-yang, have fled the city and are wanted by the cops, reported SCMP.

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