Political Prisoners in Hong Kong

On August 17, a Hong Kong appeals court sentenced student democracy activists Joshua Wong, Alex Chow, and Nathan Law to six to eight months imprisonment. The three had earlier been convicted of crimes related to unlawful assembly during a demonstration in 2014 when they had crossed a police barrier, but the lower court had sentenced them only to community service and a suspended jail sentence, arguing that their breach had been a form of political expression. But even in Hong Kong, a city which has enjoyed political freedoms absent elsewhere in China, it was the preservation of “public order” the court chose to emphasize. “To disrupt public order and public peace in the name of free exercise of powers,” said court Vice President Wally Yeung Chun-kuen, “will cause our society to descend into chaos.” The new sentence, which the three plan to appeal, also carries a five-year prohibition on running for elected office in Hong Kong. Progressive Lawyers Group member Alvin Y.H. Cheung was interviewed by ChinaFile about the jailed activists.

Hong Kong democracy campaigners jailed over anti-China protests

Hong Kong’s democracy movement has suffered the latest setback in what has been a punishing year after three of its most influential young leaders were jailed for their roles in a protest at the start of a 79-day anti-government occupation known as the umbrella movement. “It smacks of political imprisonment, plain and simple,” said Jason Ng, a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group and the author of Umbrellas in Bloom, a book about Hong Kong’s youth protest movement.

Hong Kong student leaders jailed over pro-democracy protest tied to Umbrella Movement

Nearly three years ago, several Hong Kong youth with hopes of greater democracy led a downtown protest that ballooned into thousands and lasted for 79 days. Now, they’re going to jail. “It felt like a punch in the stomach,” said Jason Y. Ng, a lawyer, a member of the Progressive Lawyers Group and personal friend of Wong’s, who has written a book about the Umbrella Movement.


最近香港政治指控或與政治事件有關的刑事案件多籮籮,實在令人迷惘、悲哀。我在此還想呼籲關注一群無聲、不受社會歡迎的非政治人士。 近期不時有被判入懲教所的青少年被懲教人員虐待的新聞,更有媒體找到至少五十名前被囚者憶述在懲教所被虐待的故事,更包括一些滅絕人性尊嚴的虐待,例如被迫進食或喝下各種身體排泄物或生理液體,被迫去做一些不雅行為,及敏感部位被塗上一些容易感到很不舒服的藥膏。對於這一切指控,社會的反應偏向冷淡。更有不少社會聲音認為既然這群少年犯了事,他們就要付上代價,入懲教所並不是「嘆世界」。對於這種看法,我不是不能理解,但希望大家可以想深一層。