Hong Kong: Court overturns unjust jail terms for Umbrella Movement leaders

Joshua Wong at an earlier court hearing © Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images

Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law have sentences overturned

In response to Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal today overturning the jail sentences for three leaders of the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said:

“The Court of Final Appeal has corrected an injustice. The government’s vengeful pursuit of harsher sentences led to the trio being jailed, and it is right this has now been overturned. 

“All politically-motivated prosecutions aimed at silencing those promoting democracy in Hong Kong must be dropped. 

“The government’s unyielding stance is having a chilling effect on the human rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.”

Last August, Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal handed Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law a sentence of between six and eight months in prison for their roles in a demonstration that helped spark the city’s 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement. The trio were released on bail in October and November last year pending their appeal.

At their first trial, Joshua Wong and Alex Chow were found guilty of “taking part in an unlawful assembly”. Nathan Law was found guilty of “inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly”. 

On appeal, prosecutors pursued harsher punishments for the student leaders after they were originally given non-custodial sentences.

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