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Protests in Hong Kong: Student leaders must be imprisoned

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 | World News

Three years ago, demonstrators lamented Hong Kong with peaceful protests. A court punishes the leaders of the movement first with social hours – but by a new judgment they have now to prison. Human rights activists are horrified.

Young Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong has been sentenced to six months' imprisonment for his participation in the pro-democracy demonstrations just under three years ago. A court in Hong Kong also denounced two 20-year-olds on Thursday: Nathan Law has been sentenced to eight months 'imprisonment, and Alex Chow has been sentenced to seven months' imprisonment. All three had been convicted of "illegal meetings" last year on social hours. After the prosecution had been appealed, the punishment was now increased.

Students had entered the government
On September 26, 2014, the student leaders climbed a fence into the court yard of the Hong Kong government and were therefore condemned. Later, further demonstrations followed, which left important parts of the Asian economic metropolis for more than two months.

The "umbrella protests" that caused headlines worldwide were the biggest challenge for China's communist leadership in the former British Crown Colony since its reintroduction in 1997. The protests had ignited the decisions of Beijing to allow a direct election in Hong Kong for the first time in 2017 , But to deny the voters a free nomination of the candidates.

"They can silence our protests, remove us from the parliament and lock us up, but they will not win the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong," Wong said after Twitter's verdict and urged his supporters not to give up.

 Human rights activists criticize the verdict
Human rights activists critically criticized the verdict against Wong and his colleagues. It is a "vindictive attack," said Mabel Au, director in front of Amnesty International in Hong Kong. The persecution of prominent democracy activists by the authorities must be ended.

Already on Tuesday, 13 similar activists were sentenced to imprisonment, although their original sentence had only provided for social hours. US Senator Marco Rubio described the judgments as "an attempt to crush the next generation of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement."

  Since July 1, 1997, Hong Kong has been part of China, but is governed by the principle of "one country, two systems". This agreement actually provides that the more than seven million Hong Kong citizens for 50 years to 2047 "enjoy a high degree of autonomy" and many freedoms.

Beijing tries to pull control
But observers have always warned that Beijing is increasingly trying to get control. Thus journalists reported economic pressure on the part of paying advertisers from the People's Republic. Academics complained about political influence in occupations.

There was also an unusual uncertainty about China's President Xi Jinping, whom he gave to China in July on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong. In this, he warned against a "red line" in the wake of Pekin-Critical protests. The security laws of the city would have to be strengthened. In addition, the President called for a "patriotic education" for Hong Kong.

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