HONG KONG (Reuters) – More than 100 protesters gathered outside a Hong Kong court early on Monday in support of…
HONG KONG (Reuters) – More than 100 protesters gathered outside a Hong Kong court early on Monday in support of three leaders of the Chinese ruled city of 2014 civil disobedient occupy occupation which faces allegations related to general inconvenience.
(LR) Pro-democracy activists Chung Yiu-wa, Cheung Sau-yin, Lee Wing-tat, Chu Yiu-ming, Benny Tai, Chan Kin-man, Tanya Chan, Shiu Ka-chun and Raphael Wong Out of court in Hong Kong, China, 1
9 November 2018. REUTERS / Bobby Yip
Legal professor Benny Tai, 54, Sociologist Professor Chan Kin-man, 59, and senior pastor Chu Yiu-ming, 74, face three allegations of conspiracy to commit public concern, encouragement to commit public awareness and encouragement to encourage public concern.
Each charge has a maximum imprisonment period of seven years. Six other are also charged in a case that comes when the financial hood’s civil liberties are under increasing strain.
Protests waved yellow umbrellas, a symbol of the pro-democratic movement, and pumped their fists while they chanted: “I want universal suffrage.”
Another protest held an umbrella with the words: “Power to the people.”
In 2013, the trio began to promulgate and plan a non-violent civil disobedience campaign to occupy streets in the city’s central business district if China would not allow a truly democratic vote for his next leader.
“Occupy” campaign came in September 2014 and became part of what grew into the greatest populist challenge of China’s communist party leaders since the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.
Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Hong Kong in long and continuous occupations of main roads for almost three months.
The other six prosecutors include veteran Democratic Party member Lee Wing Tat, Democratic Attorney Tanya Chan, Activist Raphael Wong and Student Leader Tommy Cheung and Eason Chung.
The case can have repercussions for hundreds of other protesters who have not yet been charged.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country two system” formula, guaranteeing a high degree of independence and liberties denied citizens on the mainland, including freedom of expression and the right to protest.
But critics who include foreign governments, business groups and activists say the guarantee is calling increasingly hollow.
The United Week’s Economic and Security Evaluation Commission from the US and China warned in a report to Congress last week that China had “interfered with its interference” with Hong Kong and had “closed the political space for pro-democratic activists to express dissatisfaction.”
Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing Paul Tait
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