Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung has applied to appeal a conviction which found him guilty of unlawful assembly in relation to events that sparked the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Wong was sentenced to a community service order of 80 hours at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court earlier this month. Fellow activist Nathan Law Kwun-chung received a community service order of 120 hours, while Alex Chow Yong-kang was given a three week jail sentence with a one year suspension, after the trio stormed Admiralty’s Civic Square.

Joshua Wong Nathan Law Alex Chow
From left to right: Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow. Photo: Joshua Wong via Facebook.

Wong said that he believed the square was a public space that one was able to freely enter, and past protests had taken place at the venue and were peaceful. He also said that the appeal was an embodiment of Hong Kong’s rule of law spirit and he believed the case has more room for discussion in a higher-level court, RTHK reported.

Wong added that both Chow and Law will also be lodging appeals.

civic square legco
Photo: HKFP.

The storming of the Civic Square took place after a week of class boycotts against the handing down of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress’s decision that Hong Kong’s Chief Executive candidates must be vetted before a popular election.

It led to dozens of arrests of protesters inside the square with police later using tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters. A 79-day protest occupying the main road around Hong Kong then ensued.

This year, Wong and Law founded a new political party, Demosistō. Law is currently running for a seat in the Hong Kong Island constituency in the upcoming Legislative Council elections.

The full list of candidates running across districts and constituencies can be viewed here.

Update 30/8: On Monday afternoon, the Department of Justice also announced that it will be appealing the three activists’ sentences and has submitted an application to the magistracy, Apple Daily reported. A spokesperson said that the decision was made after studying the judgment in detail and as judicial proceedings have been initiated, the department will not comment further.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.