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Thursday, July 21, 2016, 12:17

Student leaders convicted in Tamar disruption

By Shadow Li in Hong Kong
Student leaders convicted in Tamar disruption
Pro-democracy political activists and members of the Demosisto party (L to R) Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow, speak as they arrive at the Eastern Court in Hong Kong on July 21, 2016. (Photo / AFP )

Hong Kong on Thursday witnessed the first criminal conviction of three student activists for their prominent roles in an unlawful assembly in September 2014 which led to the 79day illegal “Occupy Central”movement that year.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung, secretary general of political organization Demosisto, and Alex Chow Yong-kang,former secretary general of Hong Kong Federation of Students, were convicted of taking part in an unlawful assembly. Nathan Law Kwun-chung, president of Demosisto, was found guilty of inciting others to participate in an unlawful assembly.

In passing down the verdict, Magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan said Law, having observed that police were struggling to keep order during the protest, kept encouraging the crowd to surge into the square outside the Legislative Council building.

Discussing Wong and Chow, Cheung said their behavior, with apparent aggression, could have led to injuries for those trying to maintain order.

Hundreds of protesters forced their way into the square on Sept 26, 2014, by climbing the 3 meter high fence erected to keep them out. The massive occupation blocked the major arteries to government headquarters and led to the start of the illegal “Occupy” movement.

The three were released on bail and are scheduled to reappear for sentencing on Aug 15. Law’s conviction may affec this candidacy for the Hong Kong Island constituency in the LegCo election in September.

According to the Legislative Council Ordinance Section 39, a candidate will be disqualified if he is serving a prison sentence on the date of nomination of election, or is sentenced to more than 3 months in jail in Hong Kong or any other place.

Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Fung was picked up by the police on Wednesday night, and charged with criminal intimidation, criminal damage and forcible entry. He was considered a leading player in the disruption of ameeting of the university’s governing council in January.

About 200 angry students invaded the council meeting, at the university’s Pok Fu Lam campus. The incident, which unfolded before a live TV audience, resulted in damage to a glass door, a smoke door, a guard booth and four lamp posts, according to the police. Several members of the university council alleged they were held against their will for several hours. Some requested treatment for stress.

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