Eight of the 13 activists who were jailed last month over their participation in the 2014 Northeast New Territories development protests outside the Legislative Council have lodged appeals.

A Department of Justice spokesperson told HKFP that the department received notices of motion filed by eight of the defendants on Monday. They are Leung Hiu-yeung, Lau Kwok-leung, Leung Wing-lai, Lam Long-yin, Willis Ho Kit-wang, Yim Man-wa, Kwok Yiu-cheong, and Wong Kan-yuen.

The defendants “seek a certificate from the Court of Appeal that a point of law of great and general importance is involved in the decision of the case.”

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Photo: 社會民主連線 via Facebook.

The other five defendants, amongst them the League of Social Democrat’s Raphael Wong, do not have legal representation and have yet to lodge appeals.

The demonstrations took place in response to Finance Committee chair Ng Leung-sing’s attempts to end a filibuster by the pro-democracy camp over a controversial northeast New Territories development proposal.

The defendants were convicted of unlawful assembly offences, and had already finished serving their initial community service sentences. However, the Department of Justice appealed, seeking harsher sentences. The Court of Appeal then sentenced the members of the group to eight to 13 months in prison.

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File photo: In-Media.

In a judgment handed down last Monday, the Court of Appeal said that the protesters’ act of charging at the Legislative Council building “with violence” was “inconsistent with the spirit of civil disobedience.”

The court ruled that the trial magistrate “erred in law and principle” when he gave community service orders, saying that it must impose a deterrent sentence and that “immediate imprisonment is plainly the only sentencing option.”

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.