Hong Kong pro-democracy student activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam have been sentenced to jail for unlawful assembly in relation to a mass protest last year.
The three activists were found guilty on Wednesday of organizing and taking part in an unauthorized protest in June 2019 near the police headquarters to call for an investigation into the use of force by police.
They had plead guilty last week and were immediately detained in prison, being denied bail.
In the ruling on Wednesday, the magistrate said the three had “called on protesters to besiege the headquarters and chanted slogans that undermine the police force. Immediate imprisonment is the only appropriate option,” AFP reported.
Wong, 24, was sentenced to 13.5 months in jail, while Chow, 23, was sentenced to 10 months. Lam, a third member of their now disbanded Demosisto political group, was sentenced to seven months.
Reports say that Chow burst into tears when the sentence was read out while Wong shouted that “the days ahead will be tough but we will hang in there.”
It is the latest incident in a crackdown on dissent and political opposition in Hong Kong following China imposed a controversial national security law that criminalizes a broad range of acts such as sedition, secession, terrorism and collusions with foreign forces in June this year.
Since then, authorities have arrested activists, journalists and politicians under the law and disqualified four pro-democracy lawmakers, leading all of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers to resign en masse.
Wong and Lam have both been imprisoned previously, but this is Chow’s first time in prison. She turns 24 on Thursday.