Democracy activists Joshua Wong and Raphael Wong are returning to prison after being convicted of contempt for failing to comply with an injunction to clear the 2014 Umbrella Movement protest site in Mong Kok.

Demosisto’s Joshua Wong was sentenced to three months behind bars while League of Social Democrats Vice-chairperson Raphael Wong received a four-and-a-half month jail sentence. Both requested a stay of execution, so that they can be released pending an appeal.

Another activist, Lester Shum, received a one-month sentence, suspended for 12 months, in addition to a HK$10,000 fine.

Lester Shum, Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong
Lester Shum, Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong. Photo: In-Media.

“Although Mr Wong stayed in the area for just one and a half hours, his involvement in obstructing the clearance operation was deep and extensive,” judge Andrew Chan said in relation to Joshua Wong’s sentence. “He played a leading role that day. In view of his overall involvement, I am of the view that only appropriate punishment for Mr Wong will be one of immediate imprisonment.”

“By November 2014, it became apparent that their continued unlawful occupation of roads and streets especially in Mong Kok would not alter anything and would affect no one except ordinary citizens of Hong Kong in going about their daily routine,” he added.

The sentences came months after Joshua Wong and Raphael Wong were released on bail related to separate cases. They had been jailed over their involvement in a Civic Square Umbrella Movement clash and the northeast New Territories land rights protest.

Raphael Wong, Leung Kwok-hung and Avery Ng
Raphael Wong, Leung Kwok-hung and Avery Ng. Photo: Karen Cheung/HKFP.

In jailing Raphael Wong, the judge cited his “significant and active role” in obstructing the clearance operation.” Wong thanked the judge and said that he remained undeterred in his determination to fight for universal suffrage.

In mitigation, his lawyer Hectar Pun SC had argued that his client had been motivated by a desire to help society and fight for justice.

Lester Shum, Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong
Lester Shum, Raphael Wong and Joshua Wong. Photo: In-Media.

A spectator in court shouted: “I want real universal suffrage” and broke into tears.

‘Accept it with calmness’

The Occupy leaders are among 20 democracy activists convicted of criminal contempt. Joshua Wong and Lester Shum, along with nine others, pleaded guilty. Raphael Wong and eight others pleaded not guilty. The court found all 20 of them guilty in October. In December, four defendants were given 12-month suspended jail terms and fined HK$10,000 each.

Before Wednesday’s hearing, Joshua Wong told reporters: “We will accept it with calmness. We hope the pro-democracy camp will unite.”

A message on his Twitter account added that he would vote in the March legislative by-elections. His party colleague Agnes Chow is standing for election.

Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong. Photo: Karen Cheung/HKFP.

The other 13 defendants all received suspended jail sentences on Wednesday. They include: Chau Wan-ying, Chu Wai-lun, Chu Pui-yan, Kwok Yeung-yuk, Chiu Chi-sum, Chan Po-ying, Cheung Kai-hong, Kwan Siu-wang, Hung Cheuk-lun, Fung Kai-hei, Choi Tat-shing, Mak Ying Sheung and Szeto Tze-long Jason.

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.