Hong Kong teen protest leader guilty of unlawful assembly

A Hong Kong court has found three student leaders of pro-democracy protests guilty of charges related to the demonstrations that paralysed many streets of the Chinese-ruled city in 2014.

Wong was found guilty of illegitimate assembly and climbing into the Civic Square, a Hong Kong government complex forecourt, on September 26, 2014, along with other students.

However, presiding judge June Cheung acquitted Wong of a charge of inciting others to take part in the illegal assembly.

Teen protest leader Joshua Wong stands outside a magistrate's court in Hong Kong, Thursday, July 21, 2016.

The charge of participating in an unlawful assembly has a maximum sentence of up to five years, but the magistrates court where the trio were tried can only give a maximum jail term of two years per offense due to its status as a lower court.

Wong told a crowd of reporters that he disagreed with the outcome of the trial.

He also said that facing China, the largest communist regime in the world, is a long-term battle for us to fight for democracy.

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Hong Kong student leaders who spearheaded the pro-democracy Occupy movement in 2014- Joshua Wong Nathan Law and Alex

The action led to dozens of arrests of protesters inside the square, as the police deployed 87 tear gas canisters to disperse thousands of protesters in support outside the square two days later, causing a 79-day protest that occupied main roads of Hong Kong.

The residents of Hong Kong urged Beijing to allow fully free elections of future leaders.

While Umbrella Movement, a pro-democracy political movement in 2014, failed to receive concessions from Beijing, Wong has vowed to fight for the universal suffrage.

Wong, now Demosisto's secretary general, told reporters ahead of his hearing on Thursday: "We do not regret what we have done".

Relations between the two have frayed in the year and a half since the end of the protests.

"We are not afraid of any repression, and when it gets stronger, we will also get stronger", said Law, who recently tendered his nomination papers to run in September's Legislative Council (LegCo) elections for the fledgling political party Demosisto. Both China's and Hong Kong's governments strongly disapproved of the protests.

There is concern that Beijing is increasingly interfering in education and media, as well as politics.

More news: EU, US to Turkey: No excuse to break democratic traditions

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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