HONG KONG: One of the most prominent democracy activists in Hong Kong over recent years, Joshua Wong, was sentenced on Monday (Apr 17) to three months in prison over an information breach involving a police officer, according to a post on Wong’s Facebook account.
The 26-year-old rose to prominence in 2014, when, as a bespectacled teenager, he emerged as a leader of student-led democracy protests in which roads in the heart of the financial centre were blocked for 79 days.
In Monday’s ruling, he was sentenced for breaching a court ban on disclosing personal information about a police officer who opened fire at a protest in 2019, according to the post.
Wong attended the hearing but did not speak, a witness in the court said.
The court did not immediately publish a written judgement, delivering only an oral sentencing on Monday. Wong’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
Wong galvanised international support for the former British colony’s pro-democracy movement, meeting politicians from the United States, Europe and elsewhere, and drawing the wrath of Beijing, which says he is a “black hand” of foreign forces.
Wong was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for his role in the 2014 protests, known as the Umbrella Movement because of the umbrellas protesters wielded to protect themselves from water cannons and tear gas.
Wong is one of 47 pro-democracy figures who have been charged with conspiracy to commit subversion, under a national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020, for participating in an unofficial primary election that year.
Western governments have criticised the law as a tool to crush dissent but Chinese and Hong Kong authorities say it brought stability to the semi-autonomous financial hub after months of sometimes violent protests in 2019.