Hong Kong opposition leaders Mr. Joshua Wong and Ms. Agnes Chow were imprisoned today after the judge denied them bail.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Monday pleaded guilty to charges of organising and taking part in an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year's anti-government protests.
Before entering the courtroom on Monday, Mr. Wong said he would not be surprised if immediate detention followed. Never have I underestimated the chance of imprisonment at the upcoming hearing, especially at the time when lawmakers were expelled, he stated.
Mr Wong, who was just 17 years old when he became the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a maximum five-year jail term if convicted. Before entering the courtroom, Wong said he would not be surprised if immediate detention followed.
Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison one term after another, <r Wong said. But I am persuaded that, neither prison bars, nor election bans, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism. What we are doing now is to explain the value of freedom to the world.
Mr. Wong was not a leading figure in last year's pro-democracy and anti-China protests, but his continued activism has drawn the wrath of Beijing, which sees it as a "black hand" of foreign forces.
Mr Wong describes his fight for freedom in Hong Kong with St Paul's reflection on his persecution
Five years ago, after the Umbrella Movement, we all once believed mass movements were no longer possible. Nevertheless, it was the courage and resolution of each Hongkonger that have brought us through the darkest valley and made the impossible possible, he remarked on Twitter.
Mr. Wong, who is Christian, St. Paul's reflection on his persecution in the Book of Romans, comparing it to his own experience.
We rejoice in our sufferings, Romans 5:3-4 reads, Mr. Wong wrote, knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
Once sown, seeds will one day sprout. Weary and distraught as some of you might feel, please have each others’ backs, he stated.
He disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto in June, just hours after China's Parliament passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, punishing anything Beijing considers as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison.
His long-time activist colleague Ms Agnes Chow has already pleaded guilty to charges related to the same June 2019 protest, while Ivan Lam, another former Demosisto colleague was also expected to plead guilty.