Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Ivan Lam are sent to prison over Hong Kong democracy protests
Wed December, 2020, Age: 2 years
A court on Wednesday sentenced Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam to between seven and 13½ months in prison for organizing and taking part in an unauthorized protest, as China seeks to eradicate dissent in the city. Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law, states that residents have freedoms, including the right to demonstrate. Protesters at the rally in question had blocked roads around the police complex but were not violent, the judge noted at the time of sentencing.
Wong, who received the longest sentence, faces other charges related to his involvement in Hong Kong’s democracy movement, including violating a ban on masks at protests. He has been barred several times from running for office. Lam, the son of a police officer, was sentenced to seven months. Chow, who turns 24 on Thursday, sobbed as she learned she would serve 10 months — her first stint in prison.
Other charges against Wong and Chow could extend their time in custody. Chow was recently arrested under Beijing’s new national security law for allegedly inciting secession, punishable by life in prison. For these activists, “it is now the Chinese Communist Party’s plan, I think, to start an indefinite detention for them, by giving them new charges again and again,” said Eddie Chu, a former pro-democracy lawmaker who has campaigned with Wong and who is also facing criminal charges. “For them, the treatment will be much more politically motivated,” he added.