Joshua Wong, Hong Kong activist in Umbrella Motion protests, imprisoned three months

Lester Shum Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong

Campaigners fear that these cases against activists and jail terms given to democracy leaders would discourage young people from expressing their views and exercising their right to peaceful protest.

Protesters participate in the Umbrella Movement in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, on Oct 8, 2014.

The 2014 protests saw thousands of demonstrators - mostly young students - camp out in tents on major roads, defying the demands of Chinese authorities to leave.

The umbrellas carried by the protesters became a symbol for the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

High Court Judge Andrew Chan said in Wednesday's ruling that Joshua Wong's "involvement in obstructing the clearance operation was deep and extensive", adding that he played a leading role.

Leaders of the 79-day civil disobedience movement rejected a August 31, 2014 decree from China's parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), which required the vetting of candidates for the city's top job by a pro-Beijing committee, as "fake universal suffrage". "The only appropriate punishment for Mr Wong is immediate imprisonment".

Fourteen other defendants including leading activist Lester Shum were given suspended sentences on contempt charges.

"Thank you, Your Honour, for your ruling". Wong called out to the court before officers escorted him away.

As the judge said he had no power to grant bail to the duo, they were sent to a correctional facility in Lai Chi Kok Wednesday evening to serve time.




Hong Kong has been granted a high degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" principle.

A perceived tightening of control by Beijing's Communist Party leaders in recent years, however, has fuelled a groundswell of pro-democracy activism aimed at defending the city's constitutionally enshrined freedoms.

Hong Kong's 20 years under Chinese rule - A failed project?

Wong, 21, had pleaded guilty to the charges.

"I will vote for you in jail!"

Both the activists were sent to prison in spite of pleas from the activists' defense attorneys to delay the start of their sentences.

The by-elections will be held on March 11 to fill four seats vacated by lawmakers disqualified over their oaths of office. "We will accept it with calmness", Wong wrote. "Even if we need to face prison sentencing, we will still continue to fight for democracy for the future".

Tian made the remarks after the region's high court sentenced "Occupy Central" activists to a few months in jail on Wednesday.

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