Hong Kong activists to be jailed for 2019 protest at police headquarters

Domestic News

The steady erosion of civil society in Hong Kong continues with new jail sentences for three prominent activists and growing pressure on the media.

Illustration by Derek Zheng

Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam,* three prominent twentysomething Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, were sentenced to jail today after pleading guilty to organizing and participating in a demonstration on June 21, 2019, outside Hong Kong’s police headquarters.

  • Wong was sentenced to 13.5 months for organizing and taking part in the demonstration.
  • Chow was sentenced to 10 months for participating and incitement.
  • Lam was sentenced to 7 months for incitement.

“The activists are among more than 10,000 people who have been arrested since June 2019 on charges related to protests against a proposed extradition law that expanded to include demands for greater democracy,” says the Associated Press.

  • Since then, Beijing has imposed a national security law on Hong Kong, and moved to silence voices of opposition in the political and education systems, and in the media.

The cleanup of dissenting voices from Hong Kong’s media also continued this week:

  • One of the territory’s biggest TV news stations, i-Cable, laid off the entire staff of its award-winning investigative news program, News Lancet, reports China Digital Times. The stated reason was financial pressure, but “under its new owners, and particularly after several senior managers were replaced by directors from pro-Beijing networks this year, the station’s reporters have faced intensifying political pressure.” The firings prompted i-Cable’s China news team to collectively resign in solidarity.
  • Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai* was charged with fraud today “but not for alleged collusion with foreign forces, a crime covered under the city’s sweeping national security law that was originally cited during his August arrest.”

Meanwhile, exiled Hong Kong activists Nathan Law and Alex Chow* have published an op-ed in the New York Times calling on Washington “to forge a new China policy that prioritizes human rights over other interests.”

*Dramatis personae

Joshua Wong: 黃之鋒 Huáng Zhīfēng Wong4 Zi1 Fung1

Agnes Chow: 周庭 Zhōu Tíng Zau1 Ting4

Ivan Lam: 林朗彥 Lín Lǎngyàn Lam4 Long5 Jin6

Jimmy Lai: 黎智英 Lí Zhìyīng Lai4 Zi3 Jing1

Nathan Law: 羅冠聰 Luó Guāncōng Lo4 Gun1 Cung1

Alex Chow: 周永康 Zhōu Yǒngkāng Zau1 Wing5 Hong1