21 Jul 2016

Student activist convicted over Hong Kong rallies

9:13 pm on 21 July 2016

A court in Hong Kong has found student activist Joshua Wong guilty of taking part in an unlawful assembly.

Pro-democracy political activist and member of the Demosisto party Joshua Wong looks on after leaving the Eastern Court in Hong Kong on July 21, 2016.

Pro-democracy political activist Joshua Wong looks on after leaving the Eastern Court in Hong Kong on 21 July. Photo: AFP

Wong and two others climbed over a fence into the forecourt of the Hong Kong government complex on 26 September 2014.

Their arrest helped trigger mass pro-democracy rallies that occupied parts of the city for more than two months.

The movement called on Beijing to allow fully free elections of the leader of the semi-autonomous city.

Many in Hong Kong feel the chief-executive - currently chosen by a 1200-member election committee largely viewed as pro-Beijing - should be chosen by a democratic vote.

In mid-December of 2014 police dismantled the main occupation sites with the pro-democracy side winning no concessions from Beijing.

Wong, 19, became the face of the movement which was largely driven by youth in Hong Kong. He faces up to two years in prison.

He was cleared of a second charge of incitement.

Alex Chow was also found guilty of "taking part in an unlawful assembly" and Nathan Law was found guilty of "inciting others to take part in an unlawful assembly".

All three were released on bail to be sentenced on 15 August.

- BBC

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