New four-month prison sentence for Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong. The young man, considered an “iconic figure” of the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, has been sentenced for protesting in 2019. The opposition leader is already in jail for organizing an illegal meeting.
Joshua Wong , one of Hong Kong’s best-known pro-democracy leaders , was sentenced to four months in jail on Tuesday for participating in an unauthorized assembly and for violating an anti-mask law .
The young man, just 24 years old, is among 47 activists charged under national security law and has pleaded guilty to the charges against him, which included engaging in and wearing a face covering in an unauthorized assembly in October 2019 .
The young man faced a possible maximum sentence of three years in prison . The sentence will extend the sentence of 13 and a half months he is currently serving for organizing an illegal meeting . Wong, whom Magistrate Daniel Tang called an ” iconic figure “, thanked his followers, some of whom chanted slogans such as “I miss you” and “hold on.”
Masks at the protests
In October 2019, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam invoked colonial-era emergency powers for the first time in more than 50 years to enact a rule banning face masks , which many pro-democracy protesters used to conceal their identity from authorities .
Under the law, it was illegal to wear a mask in both legal and illegal meetings . Violators faced a maximum of one year in jail and a HK $ 25,000 fine.(around 2,700 euros). However, those who needed the masks for health, religious or work reasons were exempt, most critics pointed out that the ban was too confusing .
Anti-government protesters took to the streets in 2019 against the use of emergency powers by the government to ban face masks, to end protests in the city.
Additionally, Wong was one of the Democrats charged with subversive conspiracy in late February, under the city’s national security law, for running in an unofficial primary election in July last year. This situation represented the greatest repression against the opposition since the application of the law.
The former British colony of Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise of extensive autonomy and freedoms. The pro – democracy activists , who called numerous protests during 2019 , sometimes violent, ensure that these freedoms are being undermined by the rulers of the Communist Party in Beijing . China has always denied interference .