3 jailed for besieging police headquarters in HK
Three leaders and members of a now-disbanded political group advocating for “Hong Kong independence” were sentenced to jail on Wednesday for besieging the Hong Kong police headquarters last year.
Joshua Wong, 24, was sentenced to 13 1/2 months in jail by the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts after pleading guilty to organizing and inciting an unlawful assembly near the city’s police headquarters during the height of the violent demonstrations in June last year.
“The defendants called on protesters to besiege the headquarters and chanted slogans that undermined the police force,” Magistrate Wong Sze-lai said. “Immediate imprisonment is the only appropriate option.”
Agnes Chow, 23, and Ivan Lam, 26, were jailed for a total of 10 and seven months, respectively, on charges linked to the same siege when thousands surrounded the police headquarters on June 21 to demand the government withdraw a now-shelved fugitive bill.
Chow, who cried inside the court room on hearing her sentence, had pleaded guilty to incitement and participation in an unlawful protest, while Lam pleaded guilty to incitement.
The trio were all members of political group Demosisto, which was disbanded hours before a national security law took effect in Hong Kong amid fears it could be targeted.
Chow is being investigated under the security law for “conspiring with foreign forces” by pushing for sanctions.
Wong also faces charges of participating in an unauthorized assembly in October 2019 and on June 4, 2020.
Starting June last year, protests and riots sparked by the fugitive bill plunged the city into a state of complete chaos. According to Hong Kong government’s official estimate in November 2019, a total of HK$10.5 million (US$1.35 million) were spent to fix or replace public facilities damaged by radical protesters.