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Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong detained for 2019 illegal assembly

Hong Kong activists, from right, Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam and Agnes Chow arrive at a court in Hong Kong on November 22, 2020. The trio appear at court for their trial as they face charges related to the besieging of a police station during anti-government protests last year.   | Photo Credit: AP

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was remanded in custody on Monday after pleading guilty to charges of organising and inciting an unauthorised assembly near the police headquarters during last year’s anti-government protests.

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 three-year jail term. The sentence will be delivered by December 2 at 2.30 p.m. (0630 GMT)

Before being taken away by security staff, Mr. Wong shouted, “Everyone hang in there! Add oil” in the courtroom, using a popular Cantonese expression of encouragement often used during protests.

On Twitter afterwards, Mr. Wong said attention should be directed to the 12 Hong Kong people detained virtually incommunicado in China after being arrested at sea in August as they were attempting to flee by boat to Taiwan to escape charges related to last year’s protests in the city.

“I wish to pay tributes to our fellow activists who are about to face trials and prison, or ... (are) in distress for not being able to return home: We’re not fearless, but you are the braver ones,” he said.

“What we are doing now is to explain the value of freedom to the world,” Mr. Wong added. “I’m still learning to conquer the fear and I believe you are with me along this journey.”

Mr. Wong did not plead guilty to a third charge of knowingly participating in an unauthorised assembly after the prosecution offered no evidence for it.

Other activists charged

His long-time activist colleagues Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, who also pleaded guilty for similar charges, were remanded in custody at the same trial.

Dozens of supporters outside the court chanted pro-democracy slogans and “Release Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam!”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 8:49:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/hong-kongs-joshua-wong-to-plead-guilty-to-protest-charges/article33158204.ece

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