Three Hong Kong student leaders have been convicted for taking part in a protest that led to a massive pro-democracy demonstration nearly two years ago.
Joshua Wong and Alex Chow were found guilty Thursday of taking part in an unlawful assembly, while Nathan Law was found guilty of inciting others to take part. The trio is due back in court on August 15 for sentencing.
The three scaled the fence of the Hong Kong government complex on September 26, 2014, and staged a protest on a courtyard known as Civic Square to demand full and free elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
That action led to a massive sit-in along Hong Kong’s major streets that brought much of the territory to a standstill for 79 days.
Both Wong and Law vowed to continue their fight.
“[N]o matter what is the penalty or the price that we need to pay, we will still continue to fight against the suppression from the government and also we know that facing the largest Communist regime in the world, it is a long term battle for us to fight for democracy. Even we face with serious penalty, or we may pay the price in the future, we will still continue to fight and push forward the self-determination movement,” Wong said.
“To be very honest I was quite calm about hearing the result of the verdict because it’s been around two years and, in my head, every possible consequence I’ve repeated, experiencing that for more than a hundred times. So I believe that I’m rather prepared for it. But I still think that although I am convicted or the three of us are convicted, we will still fight on the path of democracy. We will not [be] afraid of whatever the government has done on us,” Law said.
Pro-democracy forces in Hong Kong are becoming increasingly worried that Beijing is moving to erode the territory’s civil liberties, which have been in place since Britain returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997.