January 23, 2018 / 10:49 AM / 6 months ago

Hong Kong student protest leader Joshua Wong released on bail

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong student protest leader Joshua Wong was released on bail on Tuesday, less than a week after he was jailed for a second time for the 2014 pro-democracy protests that blocked the Chinese-ruled city’s major roads for months.

Former student leader Joshua Wong stands beside student activist Agnes Chow after being released on bail at the High Court in Hong Kong, China January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

The 21-year-old activist, who has become the face of Hong Kong’s movement to push for full democracy and defend its autonomy, is appealing against a three-month jail sentence for disobeying a court order and not leaving a protest zone.

Former student leader Joshua Wong is seen accompanied by student activists Agnes Chow and Nathan Law after being released on bail at the High Court in Hong Kong, China January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

High Court Chief Judge Andrew Cheung said it was arguable whether the previous judge had given sufficient consideration to the then 18-year-old Wong’s age.

Another young activist leader, Raphael Wong, 29, appealed against his conviction and his sentence of four and a half months, but his application was rejected.

“I want genuine universal suffrage,” he shouted as he was led out of the courtroom, while Joshua Wong appeared calm.

Former student leader Joshua Wong reacts after being released on bail at the High Court in Hong Kong, China January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Wong, who was released on bail of HK$10,000 (£919) in the evening, said he was lucky to get bail but he was not happy.

“I am not in a good mood at all because today I arrived (here) with Raphael but I’m the only one going out,” Wong said.

“Perhaps I will go back to prison again to serve the prison sentence. But it will not erode our determination, courage in the future. (We will) continue to fight for democracy.”

The 2014 protests marked the semi-autonomous city’s largest show of defiance against Beijing’s rule since Britain handed its colony back to China in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” arrangement.

Joshua Wong was jailed for the first time last year when the Court of Appeal gave him six months for unlawful assembly, but he was later released on bail pending appeal at the city’s highest court.

Reporting by Carmel Yang; Writing by Venus Wu; Editing by Nick Macfie

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