Communist HK Adds Jail Time For Democratic Leaders
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and his colleagues were sentenced to more jail time Thursday.
Hong Kong court sentenced the pro-democracy movement leader to 10 more months in prison for participating in a vigil to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, which judges called an unauthorized.
The international observers called verdict another evidence that the Beijing intends to exert more control over dissent in the city.
Councilors Mr. Lester Shum, Ms. Jannelle Leung and Ms Tiffany Yuen received sentences that range from four to six months for the Tiananmen vigil.
Mr. Wong who rose to prominence as a student activist and was the face of the 2014 pro-democracy protests, is already in jail after being convicted of illegal assembly in other protests.
Hong Kong courts have been failing to safeguard our rights to peaceful assembly, safeguard our rights to freedom of expression
Authorities have launched an intense crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong following months of anti-government protests in 2019. In addition to the new national security law, the criteria for elections has been changed and many outspoken democracy advocates have been jailed.
We are very disappointed in how our courts have been failing to safeguard our rights to peaceful assembly, safeguard our rights to freedom of expression, said Ms. Chow Hang-tung, vice chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organizes the annual Tiananmen vigil.
The courts keep on stressing that none of has more freedom than others, but it’s not, we are not seeking more freedom than others, we are seeking our guaranteed rights under our constitution, under the Basic Law, under the Bill of Rights, she commented.
The Basic Law is Hong Kong’s mini-constitution and promises civic freedoms not allowed on the mainland. Democracy activists say those freedoms have been all but erased in the recent crackdown.
Ms. Chow urged Hong Kong people and others around the world to continue remembering the Tiananmen crackdown by lighting a candle on June 4, wherever they are.
On the night of June 3-4, 1989, Chinese military tanks and troops moved into Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to break up weeks of student-led protests that had spread to other cities and were seen as a threat to Communist Party rule. Hundreds and possibly thousands of people were killed.