Prominent Hong Kong activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam were sentenced to prison on December 2 on charges of organizing an unauthorised protest against police brutality outside the police headquarters in June 2019.
Wong was sentenced to 13.5 months, Chow to 10 months, and Lam to 7 months behind bars. The trio pleaded guilty to the charges last week in their first trial and had been in police custody since, as the court rejected their bail applications.
Via his lawyer, Wong tweeted:
#JoshuaWong 13.5m in jail – via lawyers, “it’s not the end of the fight. Ahead of us is another challenging battleground. We’re now joining the battle in prison along with many brave protestors, less visible yet essential in the fight for democracy and freedom for HK. pic.twitter.com/1ZGmfUDf7k
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 ? (@joshuawongcf) December 2, 2020
Chow burst out into tears in court as her application to be released on bail until an appeal was denied. The activist celebrates her 24th birthday on December 3. Her social media acquaintances tweeted:
— 小白鼠先生? (@shiroihamusan) December 2, 2020
Agnes Chow is spending her first night in prison, for the “crime” of standing outside a police station during a protest against police brutality.
Something achingly sad about the Twitter balloons for her 24th birthday floating over the tweet announcing her 10 month sentence. pic.twitter.com/vVSQOBBSwc
— Hong Kong Hermit (@HongKongHermit) December 2, 2020
Exiled Hong Kong activist Nathan Law made plead for international solidarity with his three friends, and urged Washington to keep the pressure on China in regards to Hong Kong:
4. Sentences could pile up. To be honest, I have no idea when the trio could step out of the prison if Beijing pledges to impose the hardest charges on them arbitrarily. Please support them and offer them encouragement, to remind them that they are not alone.
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 ? (@nathanlawkc) December 2, 2020
Washington must craft a China policy that puts human rights front and center, but without neglecting the urgent need, too, for environmental protection, greater respect for labor rights and fair trade.
Mr. Biden, Keep the Pressure on Hong Kong https://t.co/5uQ43HCNn3
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 ? (@nathanlawkc) December 3, 2020
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a cross-party group of legislators primarily from European and North American countries focused on relations with China, issued a statement condemning the sentence:
BREAKING: #IPAC statement on the sentencing of Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam.
We stand in admiration of the courage and determination shown by the three individuals sentenced and offer solidarity to all Hong Kong people during this dark time. pic.twitter.com/Nc2ZH6j3xc
— Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (@ipacglobal) December 2, 2020
The punishments given are illegitimate and wholly disproportionate with the actions that the Hong Kong authorities claim to be crimes.
This sentence has made a mockery of the rule of law in the city and demonstrates the continued determination of the Chinese government to deny Hong Kong citizens the fundamental freedoms promised to them in the hong Kong Basic Law and Sino-British Joint Declaration. […]
The United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged Beijing to stop the crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong:
As 3 Hong Kong activists begin prison sentences, I urge the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to end their campaign to stifle opposition.
Prosecution decisions must be fair & impartial. Rights and freedoms in Hong Kong must be upheld. https://t.co/4jOwbQFOYQ
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) December 2, 2020
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen praised the three young activists for their courage:
I'm saddened by the news that @joshuawongcf, @chowtingagnes & Ivan Lam have been jailed for their activism. These brave young people are symbols of freedom & democracy in #HongKong, values that we will never stop fighting for. pic.twitter.com/DLFf024cJU
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) December 2, 2020
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee described the sentence as “despicable:”
Today’s sentencing of Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, & Ivan Lam in #HongKong for supporting pro-democracy protests is despicable. I had the pleasure of meeting with Joshua in DC in Sept. 2019, & will continue to support the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. https://t.co/Ipyb2BU7Dv pic.twitter.com/AHmZkgqpe2
— U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SenateForeign) December 2, 2020
AFP tweeted a detailed illustration showing the escalation of Hong Kong's crackdown on dissent:
— AFPgraphics (@AFPgraphics) December 2, 2020