Young Hong Kong Activist Sentenced to 3 Months in Jail

Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong

Joshua Wong, a prominent student leader of the 2014 Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, may be returning to jail after the high court ruled that he should serve three months on a contempt charge.

Wong had previously been jailed for six months under the charge of unlawful assembly, in August 2017, for taking part in the "Umbrella Movement".

Another activist, Raphael Wong, was sentenced to four and a half months in prison for the protests which opposed China's policies in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of the country.

He confirmed his second sentence, which also stems from his involvement in what is widely known as the Umbrella Movement, on his Twitter account and said he would be voting from inside the prison for his political party's candidate in March.

But Beijing has ultimate control, and pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong contest it is increasingly clamping down on the city's constitutionally enshrined freedoms.

The court denied bail but granted a second hearing with Wong's lawyers for later on Wednesday on the matter.

The Umbrella Movement was an unprecedented rebuke to Beijing as tens of thousands of protesters brought parts of the city to a standstill demanding fully free leadership elections to replace a system where the chief executive is selected by a pro-Beijing committee.

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Several others involved in the 2014 demonstrations received suspended sentences, according to the South China Morning Post, with the sentences ranging in length from one to two months.

"They can lock up our bodies but they can't lock up our minds", he said outside the court.

Beijing has been further incensed by the emergence of some activists calling for independence for Hong Kong since the failure of the Umbrella Movement to win reform.

Is Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" status in jeopardy?

The agreement allows citizens rights unseen on the mainland, including freedom of speech and a partially directly elected parliament, as well as an independent judiciary, but there are concerns those liberties are being eroded. The judge who heard their appeals on Tuesday will issue a ruling on a later date.

He had initially been sentenced to community service but the Hong Kong government appealed against that, arguing it was too lenient.

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