Hong Kong’s pro-democracy leaders Joshua Wong, Ivan Lam, and Agnes Chow were arrested and sentenced to prison on Wednesday, Dec. 2, after participating in a series of protests. They were protesting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tightening its grip on the territory under the guise of a new security law imposed in July.
Wong received the harshest sentence with 13.5 months in prison, Agnes Chow was sentenced to 10 months, and Ivan Lam received seven months. Wong has been charged in other cases as well, and Chow still faces possible charges of incitement to secession, so all three are still subject to harsher sentences from the CCP, according to Fox News.
Wong was convicted of participating in and organizing the June protest that sought to reject the controversial national security law imposed by the CCP on Hong Kong.
Chow and Lam were convicted of participating in and inciting participation.
1. It’s devastating to witness three of my former colleagues, Joshua, Agnes, Ivan are jailed. The sentencing is absurd. Retweet if you have the same demands:
1.Immediate release of the trio
2.Stop prosecuting under National Security Law
3.Sanction accountable govt officials pic.twitter.com/ObJPTttmaN
— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 😷 (@nathanlawkc) December 2, 2020
The protest took place on June 21, and thousands of people surrounded police headquarters while demonstrating against the violence exercised by the police against the demonstrators and the controversial law.
Under the new law, the CCP declared itself entitled to intervene with its police forces in the city of Hong Kong with the argument of fighting separatism and any attitude of “rebellion” against the CCP.
A letter written by Wong and later posted on his Twitter account, said, once imprisoned, he was isolated “because a scanner had suggested that he might have ingested a foreign object prior to his arrest.”
“Even though I have been imprisoned three times and have the experience, I still found it difficult to be sent suddenly to the ‘prison within a prison,’” he wrote on his Twitter account.
#JoshuaWong’s first letter from prison
1. Though I've been in prison three times, solitary confinement is far beyond my expectation. It's indeed hard to endure, but as many #hkprotesters face lawsuits/imprisonment like me, I hope you continue letting them know they are not alone pic.twitter.com/RkQBN7wq36
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) November 30, 2020
Wong, Chow, and Lam were part of a pro-democracy political party, which dissolved shortly before the National People’s Communist Congress passed the new security law in June that criminalizes regular protest activity as “terrorism” and “subversion.”
Any attempt by protest groups to work with members of the international community was also criminalized.
Violators of the new legislation were subjected to harsh penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment.
Almost 10 years ago, when the activists were teenagers, they became aware of the perversion of the CCP and the influence it was having on their generation, so they began coordinating protests against a “national education curriculum in Hong Kong schools, which they considered ‘brainwashing.'”
When the urgency and importance of the Hong Kong people’s struggle for freedom increased in 2019, following the protests against the CCP’s intention to extradite “criminals” to be tried in mainland China, they became the focus of international attention as leaders of the movement.
“We still have to let the world know that now is the time to stand with Hong Kong. They cannot ignore and silence the voice of the people of Hong Kong. They can’t ignore and silence the voice of Hong Kong people. With the belief of Hong Kong people to fight for freedom, we will never give up and surrender to Beijing,” Wong declared at a protest in June.
Logically, this criminalization of the slightest expression generated a wave of terror among the Hong Kong people while pushing into exile the pro-democracy movement leaders. They intend to continue their campaign from abroad.
The United States has been a firm supporter of the city’s autonomy and has issued sanctions against banks, companies, and people involved in repressive actions in Hong Kong and other provisions that strip the CCP of the privileges it obtained through the city.
President Trump spared no criticism or accusation against the CCP for its advance on Hong Kong’s freedoms. He also spoke of Hong Kong as the beneficiary of billions of dollars in economic incentives of all kinds that the United States has invested in recent decades to cooperate in its growth and independence. President Trump announced that he would now withdraw all such support.
In mid-July, President Trump announced that he would end the U.S. “special trade relationship” with Hong Kong. He was bringing it into the same category as the rest of China.
Products imported from Hong Kong will have to be labeled as “Made in China,” reported the South China Morning Post.