HONG KONG — A Hong Kong court docket is predicted on Wednesday to condemn 9 democracy activists for his or her roles in demonstrations that led to a 79-day occupation of main roads in 2014.
The protests 5 years in the past demanded extra open elections, and sought to drive Hong Kong’s chief to step down. Tens of 1000’s of individuals joined sit-ins and peaceable avenue demonstrations, utilizing umbrellas to protect themselves when the police used tear gasoline and pepper spray to disperse the crowds. The demonstrations got here to be generally known as the Umbrella Motion.
Two professors, Benny Tai and Chan Kin-man, and a retired pastor, Chu Yiu-ming, had been convicted this month of conspiracy to commit a public nuisance. They had been founders of Occupy Central With Love and Peace, a gaggle championing nonviolent civil disobedience in pursuit of democratic reforms.
In a abstract of the judgment, Decide Johnny Chan of the District Courtroom mentioned the demonstrations had resulted in “unreasonable” obstruction, and so the leaders had forfeited the authorized protections of peaceable demonstration.
“The court docket held cost of conspiracy to trigger public nuisance wouldn’t generate a chilling impact in society and silence many reliable speeches because the defendants contend,” the abstract learn.
Amnesty Worldwide mentioned in a report that the “obscure and ambiguous fees” and delays in prosecution had been having a chilling impact on the rights to free expression and peaceable meeting.
Six different defendants had been convicted on associated public nuisance fees. They’re Tanya Chan and Shiu Ka-chun, each present lawmakers; Lee Wing-tat, a former lawmaker; Tommy Cheung and Eason Chung, who had been pupil leaders; and Raphael Wong, a member of the League of Social Democrats, a pro-democracy get together.
The activists mentioned after the decision that they had been honored to serve within the motion and, regardless of their convictions, didn’t remorse their involvement. A few of their attorneys requested for a sentence of neighborhood service slightly than jail time.
“We have to perceive that the highly effective collude inside the political economic system, and to search out the precise spot and hammer on it relentlessly,” Mr. Chung, the 26-year-old former pupil chief, mentioned in a court docket submission translated from Chinese language by The Hong Kong Free Press. “There aren’t any saints to comply with on this journey.” Mr. Chung didn’t ask for a neighborhood service order.
Mr. Tai and Mr. Chan, who had been additionally convicted of incitement to commit public nuisance, mentioned they might not ask for diminished sentences, as a substitute asking the court docket to not give a jail sentence to Mr. Chu, 75, who’s sick.
Mr. Chu, who had helped activists escape from China following a lethal crackdown on pupil activism in Tiananmen Sq. in 1989, delivered a speech describing himself as a “bell toller” within the Umbrella Motion.