Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong on Monday pleaded responsible to fees of organizing and collaborating in an unauthorized meeting close to the police headquarters throughout final yr’s anti-government protests.
Wong, who was simply 17 years previous when he grew to become the face of the 2014 student-led Umbrella Movement democracy protests, faces a most five-year jail time period if convicted.
Before coming into the courtroom, Wong stated he wouldn’t be shocked if quick detention adopted.
“Perhaps the authorities wish me to stay in prison one term after another,” Wong stated.
“But I am persuaded that, neither prison bars, nor election bans, nor any other arbitrary powers would stop us from activism. What we are doing now is to explain the value of freedom to the world.”
Wong was not a number one determine in final yr’s pro-democracy and anti-China protests, however his continued activism has drawn the wrath of Beijing, which sees it as a “black hand” of international forces.
He disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto in June, simply hours after China’s parliament handed a sweeping nationwide safety legislation for Hong Kong, punishing something Beijing considers as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with international forces, with as much as life in jail.
Faces extra fees
His long-time activist colleague Agnes Chow has already pleaded responsible to fees associated to the identical June 2019 protest, whereas Ivan Lam, one other former Demosisto colleague was additionally anticipated to plead responsible.
Wong additionally faces fees of collaborating in an unauthorized meeting in October 2019 and on June 4, 2020 over a vigil commemorating the crackdown on protesters in and round Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Earlier this yr, Wong was disqualified alongside 11 different pro-democracy politicians and activists from operating in a since-postponed election for town’s legislature.
Wong spent 5 weeks in jail final yr for contempt of court docket, earlier than being launched on June 16 when protests have been already in full swing.
Wong’s and different activists’ repeated arrests have drawn criticism from Western governments who say China isn’t fulfilling its obligation to permit Hong Kong a excessive diploma of autonomy, agreed with former colonial grasp Britain when town returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
China denies the accusation and says Hong Kong is its inner affair.