Protest and punishment: How thousands of demonstrators are set to face Hong Kong’s court system

With the onset of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, fewer people are taking to the streets in Hong Kong – but for prosecuted protesters, the work is just getting started. By the end of January 2020, over 7,000 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, about 1,000 charged, and 20 sentenced. Common charges are criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, assaulting the police, obstructing the police, participating in an unlawful assembly, and participating in a riot.

Uitzonderlijke taferelen in Hongkongse rechtbank: gearresteerde activisten massaal voor de rechter

"Of all the defendants who appeared on Wednesday, the majority will probably go free," says Vickie Lui, one of Hong Kong's lawyers who provide free assistance to arrested protesters. Lui, who works for the Progressive Lawyers Group, has joined a central office from which the legal assistance for detainees is directed. During the protests you see many young people with the telephone number of that hotline on their arm.

‘21 hours in handcuffs’: China clampdown leaves Hong Kongers terrified to travel

He was not charged with any crime but Chinese police had decided that he would be needed to “assist in an investigation” into Hong Kong’s ongoing anti-government protests after immigration agents found photos on his phone at the border.