Founders of illegal "Occupy Central" movement sentenced to 16-month imprisonment in China's Hong Kong

2019-04-25 03:10:52 GMT2019-04-25 11:10:52(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HONG KONG, April 24 (Xinhua) -- The three founders of the 2014 illegal "Occupy Central" movement were sentenced to 16-month imprisonment on Wednesday at a court in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

Two of the three founders, Tai Yiu-ting and Chan Kin-man, who were found guilty of conspiracy to commit public nuisances and incitement to commit public nuisances on April 9 at the West Kowloon Magistrates' courts, were sentenced by the court on Wednesday morning to immediate imprisonment for 16 months.

The other founder Chu Yiu-ming, convicted of conspiracy to commit public nuisances, was sentenced to 16-month imprisonment with two-year suspension.

Among the other six defendants of this case, who were found guilty of one or two offenses of inciting public nuisances, two were sentenced to immediate imprisonment for eight months, two got eight-month imprisonment with two-year suspension, and another one was sentenced to 200-hour community services.

The judge granted a six-week adjournment of the sentencing for one of the defendants, Tanya Chan, due to her health condition.

The three founders alleged what happened in late September and thereafter until Dec. 2, 2014 in Hong Kong's Central district was a movement of civil disobedience, but Judge Johnny Chan pointed out that they had been totally wrong in measuring the proportionality of the disruption.

Protesters should bear in mind that their protests should be proportionate and should not cause excessive inconvenience and damage to the public order, he said.

The nine defendants should regret for the excessive inconvenience and damage they had caused to the public during the 79-day "Occupy Central" movement, but they expressed no regrets for what they had done, Chan said when announcing the sentencing.

Members of several local groups gathered Wednesday morning in front of the court building, calling for due punishment for leaders of the illegal "Occupy Central" movement.

Po Chun-chung, the chairman of "Defend Hong Kong Campaign", said his group came to witness the announcement of punishment for those who caused damage to Hong Kong's rule of law and a severe division in the society.

HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam, though refusing to comment on the specific case, said the HKSAR government respects the court ruling and stressed that Hong Kong's cherished spirit of rule of law means "both the government and citizens must respect and strictly abide by law."